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Friday, April 19, 2024

On the Fault Line of the Resurrection : StyleWise


A Sermon for Easter

I shall not die, however reside,
and declare the works of the Lord

shot of hill country in texas with bird flying over
Photograph by J. Amill Santiago on Unsplash

This morning, we be a part of Mary and the disciples on the threshold of the tomb.

As we poke our heads into that darkish cave within the hill nation outdoors Jerusalem, we brace ourselves for the stench of dying,and discover it empty.

Within the lengthy hours after Jesus died, we have been making an attempt to be sturdy. However the absence of a physique lastly breaks us. Our worst worry already got here true, when the person who promised he would save us, died on the cross. However now, Jesus is de facto gone, and it appears like a second dying.

Now, hope is useless. And there’s no chance of closure, solely the bodily ache of despair.

However, simply as we’re hit with a contemporary wave of grief, we flip our faces towards the blinding gentle of the morning as a mysterious messenger beckons us:

“Don’t be alarmed! Don’t weep! The longing you have got held in your physique, the worry and the hope, the guarantees you have been silly sufficient to consider – all of it has been redeemed! All of it has been reworked!”

Towards all odds, Jesus Christ was useless, and now he’s alive.

Right here we’re once more, this Easter morning, standing on the threshold of the tomb, gazing into an empty burial chamber in amazement. Daring to consider in resurrection.

We stand on the doorway between darkness and lightweight, worry and hope, dying and life. Right here, on the threshold, our perspective is broadened. We lastly have the vantage level to know the reality of all issues: Right here, on this area between all we thought we knew, and all that Christ is making new, the best way we order the world breaks down. The dichotomies not make sense. In view of the risen Christ, “even the darkness is as gentle.”

On the empty tomb, we see every thing with new eyes. NOW, we reside within the ambient gentle of the Savior, the dwelling Phrase, who created all issues and redeems all issues.

There is no such thing as a must worry the long run. As a result of Jesus Christ is risen, and all issues develop towards his gentle. In reality, there is no such thing as a want, even, to hope. As a result of what our ancestors have hoped for since Eden has already come true.

We’re not craving for the previous days, or ready for higher ones. Heaven has come to earth, and paradise is right here!

New life bursts forth on the threshold of a tomb in Judean hill nation.

Right here in Austin, we’re intimately acquainted with thresholds, within the geological sense. That’s as a result of we fairly actually reside on a fault line. The town is constructed on a geological landmark known as the Balcones Escarpment.

map of fault lines and zones in Texas
Balcones, and the Mexia-Talco-Luling Fault Developments, the place black strains are faults, the blue shaded space is the Claiborne Group, yellow is the Jackson Group, and tan is the Wilcox Group (Picture: Public Area)

As Austin resident Stephen Harrigan put it in a 1987 article for Texas Month-to-month,

“The Balcones Escarpment…is geology’s most fateful mark upon the floor of Texas, a bulwark of cracked and weathered rock that extends in a pronounced arc from Waco to Del Rio. It’s the Balcones that creates the Hill Nation, that units the stage for the Edwards Plateau and the Excessive Plains past. The cotton financial system, for our schematic functions, ends on the base of the escarpment, the place the wealthy blackland prairie…runs actually right into a wall. Above that mass of limestone there may be solely a veneer of soil, and the nation is difficult, craggy, and scenic—cowboy nation. The excellence is that sharp: farmers to the east, ranchers to the west.”

On the east aspect of city the place we’re proper now, you may nonetheless see traces of fertile farmland. Every day once I come residence, I’ve to be further cautious to not monitor superb, black dust into my lounge.

However just some miles west, the panorama instantly transforms into hill nation. The bottom rises up in stops and begins to disclose pink clay and rocky passes.

The primary time you drive west towards Lake Travis, you would possibly discover, like I did, that “amazement seizes you” on the sudden shift in perspective.

Just like the Psalmist, possibly you’ll exclaim:

“That is the Lord’s doing,
and it’s marvelous in our eyes.”

The panorama right here, not not like the tradition, is a juxtaposition of abundance and wish, softness and exhausting dwelling, concurrently quaint and exhilarating.

However it is best to know that the Balcones Escarpment isn’t the one fascinating factor concerning the fault line. The results of a violent collision of earth that occurred 20 million years in the past, the Balcones Fault Zone additionally produced the Edwards Aquifer.

Principally, when the bottom was pushed up into hill nation, it was additionally pushed down into deep ravines and caves. Rainwater flooded these hidden caverns, forming underground springs that present water to native waterholes, the Colorado River, and the households of most of Central Texas.

These aquifers are actually what make life attainable right here.

So, if you happen to’re having hassle discovering the fault line, simply look to the place inexperienced issues develop and folks collect. Amid the tumult, and towards the chances, life is nurtured and sustained, proper right here, on the threshold.

Like so many who settled right here earlier than us, the angle of this place would possibly grip you.

Residing right here, on the website of a geological surprise, you might be dwelling proof of a much bigger reality: that the methods we kind the world, into good and dangerous, salvageable and damaged, protected and harmful, habitat and wasteland, not make sense in view of the fault line.

From this vantage level, we see issues in another way: All of it’s redeemable. All of it holds hidden chance. All of it may be made new.

On the fault line, you understand you not must let your self down simple. You not want the previous tales or the doubted guarantees. Issues could be larger, and higher, and extra stunning than you imagined.

Right here on the threshold, life is bursting forth.

Right now we worship in a church, fashioned at a geological threshold. And we stand with the disciples, on the fault line of the resurrection.

We’ve held the black earth of the east whereas gazing up on the pink hills to the west. We’ve drunk the pure water from aquifers borne of violent shifts beneath the floor.

We dare to proclaim that the previous issues could be made new. We insist that life is persistent, rising in crevices and dusty hills, towards all odds.

We’ve seen with our personal eyes how the dying of an previous world can create the situations for plentiful life.

And if all that is true, simply concerning the floor we stand on, how far more is in retailer for us, who proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the redeemer of the entire world!?

On Easter, we declare that, even in darkness, life is bursting forth!

And so, we proclaim: Alleluia!

“O dying, the place is thy sting?
O grave, the place is thy victory?”

Christ swallowed up dying and shifted the tectonic plates. Resurrection is right here.

Two thousand years after the disciples peered into the empty tomb, we nonetheless bear witness to the Risen Savior.

We nonetheless dare to be trustworthy, in a fickle and distracted world. We nonetheless dare to consider within the reconciliation of all issues, and all individuals. We nonetheless dare to see the larger image.

A useless man crossed the edge of a tomb. Now, we know that life is at all times attainable. Even dying carries the seed of resurrection.

I shall not die, however reside,
and declare the works of the Lord.

Amen.

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