An Idle Tale !


Welcome friends. Peace be with you.

Luke is the only one of the gospel writers to say that the women’s news of Jesus’ being raised sounded to the apostles like “an idle tale.” I can relate to that. I understand that the apostles thought that the news of the resurrection of Jesus was “an idle tale.”

I’ve done enough funerals and had enough friends and loved ones die that I get why it sounds like “an idle tale.” This truth just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t fit our experiences with death. Yes, and it didn’t match the apostles’ experiences either.

I don’t know WHAT happened that first Easter Day. I don’t know HOW whatever did happen happened.

So, can I explain it? NO! Have I come to believe in it? YOU BETCHA!

The resurrection is not about explaining, understanding, making sense of, or even believing what happened that day. It’s more about experiencing what that day means for you and me today. So I want to tell you three things I think this story means for us.

First, it means a promise. It promises a future. The promise means we can never say about our life, “This is it,” “This is all there is.” Our resurrection is an every day reality that promises us a future and the chance that this moment will be transformed and changed. Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Second, it means we have hope. It means we have hope for our lives and the lives of those we love. We have hope for something absolutely new, a new birth, a new life. We have hope that our lives matter. It means we have hope in the midst of our doubts and uncertainties, despite the riskiness of life, and when nothing makes sense and the odds are against us. This hope means that we live with a great openness to the future. Alleluia! Christ is risen.

Third, it means a call. The resurrection is a calling on our lives. We are being called to believe in life because life is precious beyond belief. We are being called to live more fully alive and take the risk that there is always more life awaiting us even when it is unimaginable, unforeseeable, and (constrained by our human minds and way) seemingly impossible. The resurrection is calling us into life, more life, a new life. So, answer the call … say, “Yes.” Yes to life. Yes to more life. Yes to a new life. Alleluia! Christ is risen. 

So, back to where we started. Is today’s story true or is it just “an idle tale?” I think that’s up to us. Christ’s resurrection is as true as we will let it be.

Every time we claim the promise, hope against and hope, and say yes to life, this story is no longer just “an idle tale.” It becomes the truth of our lives, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, not because we can prove, understand, or explain it but because we are living it right here, right now. I want to try my best TO LIVE this story.

I want to try my best TO DO the truth of this story.

I want to try my best TO BE the truth of this story.

…. I want you to as well.

This is our day for a new life, for more life. And there is nothing holding us back. The tomb is empty and “he is not here, but has risen.”

So let’s leave this place like a bunch of crazy people possessed by life. Let’s seize the day. 

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

I runga e te Ingoa o te Atua, te Matua, te Tama me te Wairua Tapu.

I offer these words, in the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. AMEN