Grace Church celebrated the resurrection of our Lord with four services, including the Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday, April 4 and three services on Easter Day, Sunday, April 5.

Visit our online photo gallery to view pictures from these events:

easter 2015 - feature

PageLines- bishopsmithpreaching_opt.jpg

Resurrection: Bishop Wayne’s message for Easter

If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. –1 Corinthians 13:14

Occasionally the clipped precision of the King James Version cuts through all the archaic language to get it just right. This passage is one such instance. Everything that Christians preach and everything that we believe falls apart, without the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul holds resurrection’s truth to be just that crucial.

Neither he nor the other New Testament writers bother about the “how” of resurrection, which is a modern issue and not one of the first century. They do write about various encounters of the risen Christ, a very early tradition, and about the empty tomb.

Most of all, they write about resurrection’s effects: reconciliation to God, the forgiveness of sins, a hope that is sure and certain, God’s subsequent gift of baptism as resurrection’s sign and sacrament, the restoration of a broken universe, and, not least of all, the Church itself. Resurrection’s consequences are blessedly enormous.

Ponder all that God has done in raising Christ from the dead, and consider the effects of resurrection that God is still working out in our lives and in the whole universe. Reflect on our own responsibilities in the face of resurrection’s glory.

The Rt. Rev. Wayne Smith
Tenth Bishop of Missouri 

 

Katharine Jefferts Schori4Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Easter Message 2015

The only place we will not find him is in the tomb.

It’s still dark when Mary ventures out to find the tomb.  The graveyards around Jerusalem don’t have much greenery today.  The earth is mostly rock and stone, and it is far from easy to make a place to secure a body.  Jesus’ body was put in a cave-like space, with a stone rolled across the opening to close it up.  Mary has made the journey from wherever she’s sheltered over the last day, through darkened streets, perhaps hearing cocks begin to crow and townspeople start to stir.

She nears the place, but somehow it seems different than they left it – this can’t be it, can it?  Who moved the stone?  A trip begun in tears and grief now has added burden– confusion, anger, shock, chaos, abandonment.  His very body has been stolen.

She runs to tell the others.  The three tear back to the tomb – no, the body is not there, though some of the burial cloths remain.  Who has torn away the shroud and stolen him away?  Why must the cruel torture continue, sacrilege and insult even after death?  Who has done this awful thing?  The men run away again, leaving her to weep at even greater loss.

She peers in once more – who are these, so bold appearing?  “Fear not, woman… why do you weep?”  She turns away and meets another, who says the same – why do you weep, who are you looking for?  This gardener has himself been planted and now springs up green and vibrant, still rising into greater life.  He challenges her to go and share that rising, great news of green and life, with those who have fled.

Still rising, still seeking union with Creator, making tender offering to beloved friends – briefly I am with you, I am on my way.  Go and you will find me if you look.The risen one still offers life to those who will look for evidence of his gardening – hope, friendship, healing, reunion, restoration – to all who have been uprooted, cut off, to those who are parched and withered, to those who lie wasting in the desert.  Why do we weep or run away when that promise abides?

We can find that green one, still rising, if we will go stand with the grieving Marys of this world, if we will draw out the terrified who have retreated to their holes, if we will walk the Emmaus road with the lost and confused, if we will search out the hungry in the neighborhood called Galilee.  We will find him already there before us, bringing new and verdant life.  The only place we will not find him is in the tomb.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Tagged with:
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *