Sunday Sermonizing: A Procrastinated Easter Reading and Church People's Drinking Games
Procrastination got the better of me.
And it was such a simple request.
Easter Morning sunrise service with our small group. I was asked to do a reading. A simple reading.
At 10:00 PM Easter Eve, I'm sitting at my desk wondering if I should start pulling random books off the shelf, or if I should just Google "Easter Morning Readings".
The former at least feels like there's more thought involved.
I pulled a couple of liturgy-type books first. Celtic Daily Prayer is a good one. But nothing stuck out.
Then CS Lewis caught my eye. Of course, CS Lewis.
When I used to preach regularly, congregants could have played a drinking game each week for every time I used a CS Lewis quote.
If church people played drinking games.
But, CS Lewis is a formative writer, thinker, theologian, mentor, story-teller, you-name-it, for me. I like his writing. A lot.
Weight of Glory may be the most important book I've ever read, apart from the Bible.
I need a resurrection reading. CS Lewis should have something for me.
I have an anthology of Lewis' writing. It's been sitting on my shelf for decades. I don't use it much, not because it's unimportant. I have the individual books which comprise the anthology. It is mostly literary eye candy, as it's a handsome hardback - maroon with embossed, gold lettering.
I crack it open, searching for something appropriately Easter-y, when a penciled inscription in the front catches my eye.
I've not known where I came about this book. Until now.
This gives me pause. The fact my grandpa gave this to me piles meaning upon meaning. More than I care to go into in this, a public blog post.
I will say this: My Grandpa's faith was something I didn't understand when I first came to faith, myself. It didn't match up to the whirlwind of redefining that was evangelicalism in the 1980's. The whirlwind which I (and I think many others) thought encompassed Christendom as whole.
I since learned Christianity has ancient roots, multiple traditions, and is a much larger place than I'd originally thought. All while maintaining one Lord, one faith, one Baptism.
My grandpa is gone now. Death is final like that.
And death is real.
It's not metaphorical or avoidable.
So this morning - this Easter - I am grateful that resurrection is not a metaphor, either. The actual cytoplasm and the membranes began to function again. Life was restored. Death was defeated.
He is risen, indeed.
So, thanks to one of the many gifts my grandpa gave me, here is today's Easter reading. I find hope here on so many levels.
The miracles that have already happened are, of course, as Scripture so often says, the first fruits of that cosmic summer which is presently coming on. Christ has risen, and so we shall rise. St. Peter for a few seconds walked on the water; and the day will come when there will be a remade universe, infinitely obedient to the will of the glorified and obedient people, when we can do all things, when we shall be those gods that we described as being in Scripture. To be sure, it feels wintry enough still; but often the very early spring feels like that. Two thousand years are only a day or two by this scale. A person really ought to say, 'The Resurrection happened two thousand years ago' in the same spirit of saying, 'I saw a crocus yesterday'. Because we know what is coming behind the crocus. The spring comes slowly down this way; but the great thing is that the corner has been turned. There is, of course, this difference, that in the natural spring the crocus cannot choose whether it will respond or not. We can. We have the power either of withstanding the spring, and sinking back into the cosmic winter, or of going on into those 'high mid-summer pomps' in which our Leader, the Son of Man, already dwells, and to which He is calling us. It remains with us to follow or not, to die in this winter, or to go on into that spring and that summer.