Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Risen Christ.

A short homily for Easter Week.

We join together in this Easter season to celebrate the new life we have in the Risen life of Jesus Christ.

Our faith, the faith that we profess in the Creeds and in the Articles of Religion, the faith revealed, handed down, and taught to us in the holy Scriptures, is a faith grounded in the Trinity, embedded in the Incarnation, rooted in the Cross, and given full life and sustenance in the Resurrection of Christ from the grave.

Without the Resurrection, the Cross and the Incarnation lose their meaning, for our faith is not in a dead Christ, not in a Christ of memory, but in a living Christ, a Messiah who conquered sin and death and lives and reigns and makes intercession on our behalf. It is only because Christ lives that we have a new life and a new relationship with God the Father. It is through Christ alone that we are given redemption.

In that we have been buried with Christ and raised with Him, now belonging to Him and to His Body, the Church, We must seek to be that body, the Body of Christ Jesus here on earth--a living, redeemed humanity. Organs and limbs of His Body, no longer belonging to ourselves but to Christ, submitting ourselves to His will and to His purpose.

We must seek to be the Body of Christ at all times and in all places, not just within the walls of the church building on Sunday morning, because the Body of Christ is not confined to that time nor to that place. We should seek to be the Body of Christ in every moment, always seeking to be guided by His Word, for He is our living Head. Without our being joined to Christ we are nothing more than dying cells, without organization or real function.

It is only in the light and hope of the Resurrection faith that we can live with meaning, with true purpose, reaching out to a world that hungers for the truth and love of the Gospel of Christ.

When we teach the importance of peace, we must be true to the Christian Gospel—we are not simply teaching an absence of conflict, the cessation of hostility—rather we must teach a true peace rooted in the heart of every person, a peace that can only be found in the Blood of the Christ and the self-giving love of God for His redeemed people.

The world must be shown that the embrace of the true diversity of ethnicities and cultures must be grounded in the common truth of the Gospel of Christ and all it teaches.

When cries for justice are heard by Christians, the answer to these cries must be rooted in the power of the Cross and the Resurrection, and the teachings of the Incarnate Son of God.

When forgiveness is given, it must be given in the love of Christ. There is no cheap grace. As God forgave us, so should we forgive others who come to us with penitent hearts.

When we speak of the dignity of humanity and of human rights, these can only be worthy of action and can only make a claim to truth if they flow from the truth that each human life is created in the image of God, and that it was this humanity that God saw fit to redeem by the Blood of Christ, raised again with Him on that Sunday morning in the glory of the empty tomb.

Without the Resurrection, all of these teachings and endeavors are meaningless. Our hope and our faith are a Resurrection hope and faith; our Head is a living Head, and the body of which we are parts is a living Body.

Let us affirm this day our faith in the living Lord, and confess with Job when he proclaims:

I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!