If you were a seed, maybe a sunflower seed, or perhaps a mustard seed, you would be masterfully engineered, a potent package with everything you need right there. You could be carried on the wind, or on the fur of wild beast and go anywhere. You can sit sleeping for ages and still be ready to thrive. As a seed, you have no control over yourself, you can be carried around or crushed or forgotten about. None of which can diminish the hope and potential you were made with.
So what if the chicken is the way that egg’s make more eggs? What if that tiny potent and seemingly lifeless bundle is the driving force? In the history of chickendom there have been many many more eggs than chickens. What if the same is true of seeds? What if the flower or the tree or the plant is just the way that seeds make more seeds?
Holy week was about the death of Christ Jesus, God born in flesh, who lives with us here on earth, and he was crushed by the wrongness of our life together. Jesus was crucified, and he died. He was like a seed. No control or say in where he went or what happened to his body. He was placed in a tomb, in a garden. Isn’t it amazing how Jesus was taken back to the big beginning, that place of seeds and plants and flowers and trees, that place of fruit and light and life. His shell was placed in the darkness of the earth. And unlike anything that had ever happened before, he rose, he breathed, he lived! He got up and walked out. And somehow, all of us are there with him, running and out of breath at the wonder of it all.
In Easter we are invited back to the beginning. To that potent hope, that miraculous seed that is ready thrive. The resurrected Jesus was not a fake flower or just the drawing of a flower or a hologram of a flower. The resurrection of Jesus is not a fairy tale or a metaphor. Instead is it a holy mystery, the kind of mystery that makes me tremble, the kind of mystery that scares me with the immensity of its power.
In the mystery of Easter we are invited into a wild rush of divine energy as intense as the first moments of the universe. We begin tonight with the story of creation itself because that is what we are now witnessing in Easter: God is re-establishing everything. Easter asks us many questions, but tonight let it ask us this: Do we live in the world as if God the Gardener was within and behind and in the depths of every moment and every material thing?
Well, no, for most of the time we do not. Well then, how can you begin to? As we move beyond time into the garden with Christ, may he awaken us like a seed buried under the winter snow. Ready to Go, Ready to Grow!
So in our Alleluia tomb, where once there were flat paper butterflies, there now sits a box full of holy potential. Those butterflies have risen, and what remains now are seeds. Jesus who laid in the earth is now risen, and as he rises he calls us to be his new seeds. Full of food and nurture and potential. Sent out to be love, healing and honesty for a world that has forgotten it’s holiness. Send us out as seeds, as potent packages of love in Christ’s name. Maybe the point of the whole thing, is to make more seeds. Maybe like the itty-bitty mustard seed, that grows into a home for many. What type of seed might you be? Holy Holy Lord, make us seeds of your love, and send us out, a rush of Easter life filling our neighborhood, so that your creation can be a garden once again. Alleluia!
EASTER VIGIL 2016 Sermon
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Walla Walla, Washington