There are at least two Connection insights that Easter gives me today:
- I believe that Jesus Christ, through his life and teaching, his death and resurrection, bridged the chasm between man and God and created forevermore a way to strengthen our connection with God.
- I believe that unless we take those lessons and become conduits of love to others in our life, including the unlovable and disenfranchised, we risk weakening or breaking our own connection with God and we risk depriving others of that connection in their lives too. We ARE the hands and feet of the Body of Christ, and it is through us that his love, comfort, and healing comes to others.
By tradition, at our church's Great Vigil of Easter service on Easter Eve, the Rector reads the Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom (AD 400). It is filled with imagery of celebration, hope, and empowerment, and reflects the joy that we Christians are meant to experience after the penitential season of Lent. I've included an excerpt with a link to the short sermon in its entirety.
If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. […]
Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord, and receive your reward, both the first and likewise the second.
You rich and poor together, hold high festival.
You sober and you heedless, honor the day.
Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast.
The table is fully laden; feast sumptuously.
The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
Enjoy the feast of faith; receive all the riches of loving-kindness.
Excerpts from The Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom (AD 400)
Moving from medieval text to modern expressions of Easter joy through music and dance, I share the 5-minute video below “Dance Your Shoes Off.” Be sure to get past the first 45 seconds to get your inner dancer moving! Click on the You Tube link to learn about the video and credits to the songwriter and producer. Many thanks to my friend and Heartspoken Connection Messenger Jackie Catterton, for sending me the link to this video.
Alleluia! What was dead shall live; what was dark shall shine; what was forgotten shall be remembered, for the Lord is risen and walks among us. Let us confidently bring before God the needs of all our world, asking God for renewal, saying: Christ is risen; Christ is risen indeed!
Prayers of the People, Easter Day, “Intercessions for the Christian People.” (An ecumenical resource from Roman, Episcopal, and Lutheran clergy)