The Easter Theme
When the time arrived to select a theme for Lenten and Easter season this year, we found inspiration in the text for Easter Sunday from Matthew 28. It's not an unfamiliar story. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is told by all four gospel writers with slight differences. Matthew's version, while familiar on first glance, includes a particular detail that is easy to miss. It comes in verse 2:
"And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it."
Get Shook Up
The earthquake dominates the early part of the narrative, but it is the angel sitting on the stone that offers the more illustrative vision for me. In fact, I let out an impious laugh each time I imagine the angel shaking things up and then sitting on the stone as if to say "look at me now"! In the aftermath of an earthquake strong enough to move boulders to clear space for new life, the angel celebrates the moment by plopping down in a triumphant pose of nonchalant coolness. Was he tired? Did the shake up unsettle his nerves enough to necessitate a break? I like to believe that the angel was just as shook up as we should be at Easter.
What About You?
The resurrection of Jesus Christ sets us apart from all the other wisdom traditions. It affirms the triumph of life over death. It's worthy of a 40 day season of preparation that we call Lent. But, does it still shake you up? Will you allow the earth to quake beneath your feet and unsettle whatever shaky ground needs to be unearthed? This Easter, the invitation is for you to GET SHOOK UP.
To shake things up, DOWNTOWN CHURCH is planning a series of special worship events to include:
- Ash Wednesday Services on March 5 at 5:30 and 7:30
- A Palm Sunday Service on April 13 at 10:00 AM
- A Maundy Thursday Communion on April 17
- Two Easter Sunday Services at 9:00 and 11:00
In addition to these communal worship events, we will offer an interactive experience online called The 40 Day Project. If you're interested in learning more and following along, click here for more information about the project.