Friday, April 16, 2010

Darkness vanishes

The chirping of the birds is getting louder in the morning. They herald the new season. Activity is starting in the orchard, and even the groundhog paths are becoming visible through the grass.

The weather has been dark lately, and I do not just mean the rain and cold. I mean spiritual weather. It has not been good recently. The pastor and I have preached on the scandals in the Church two weeks in a row. At Easter. Imagine.

But the signs of spring and the Easter lilies remind me there is much more to the season than bad news. Indeed the season is all about the best News the world every had, the triumph of the Cross and Resurrection, our redemption, our second chance.

In its own way, this scandal-laden time is a reminder of how badly we truly need this redemption. Perhaps we have been ‘way to complacent, thinking that Easter was just a nice celebration of the glory of God. Dig a bit deeper, I am thinking.

It is the Deacon’s privilege to sing the Exultet at the Easter Vigil. For the past seventeen years that has been the high point of my Easter experience. I am thinking of it now, thinking of how powerful its message is, not as a moment of piety but as a moment to remember God’s response to our tremendous need. The Exultet is sung in a darkened church, with the light from the new Easter candle piercing that darkness. It announces Easter to the world. Here are a few phrases from the Exultet:

Rejoice O earth in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King… Darkness vanishes forever. Rejoice O Mother Church … the Risen Saviour shines upon you…….. Night truly blessed, when heaven is wedded to earth and we are reconciled with God.

Christ is the light of the morning. A new day. He lets us start over and he leads. May we follow him, trust him, depend on him, and never again lose sight of him.

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