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God's "Yes!"

Sermon for Easter Day 2024 St. David’s

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable to you Oh Lord, our strength and song.

And so, the evil in the world did not win…God’s love won. The religious and secular authorities tried to stop, to suppress the love that Jesus was teaching. But God said no, you can not stop my love. You may kill the body, but that is not the end of the story.

The message of Easter is Hope. It is God’s resounding “Yes!” to life and Love…it is a reminder to us that God has not abandoned us…no matter how bad things seem.

That is the story of Mary Magdalene being the first to experience the Risen Christ….even in her sorrow and grief there was hope and love.

If you are at all aware of what is going on in our world today, you can not help but see all the evil that is being done in so many parts of the world. It is the curse of our age of electronic communications that we see almost instantly the horrors of war, famine and just how cruel and uncaring humankind can be. Evil is still trying to kill God’s Love.

Much of it is being done in the name of Religion. In every variation of Religion there is the radical element that feels they must force everyone to believe as they do, or God will not love you…and some would say you do not deserve to live. And sadly, that includes some who call themselves Christians! We all have a right to believe as the divine has revealed itself to each of us. But we do not have the right to insist that that is the only way to understand and experience God.

God is continuing to say No, you will not win. My love knows no bounds. It is not just for you, but for everyone. Did you not listen to what Jesus taught? I saw a post on the internet the other day…” When you learn how to sit at the table with your Judas, you’ll understand the love of Christ.”

Jesus did not say it would be easy, but that as the Risen Christ, he would be with us always. This we will celebrate in 50 days on Pentecost when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples. And now we each have this gift. The Quakers say this is “That which is of God” in each person…every person you meet, every person who has lived, is living and will be born.

What can we do in a time of seeming overwhelming evil and sadness. That is the question. Well, Jesus told us about that too. In Matthew we read:

I was hungry and you fed me,

I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,

I was homeless and you gave me a room,

I was shivering and you gave me clothes,

I was sick and you stopped to visit,

I was in prison and you came to me.’

This is God’s “Yes!” Every time you care about someone or some situation and do something about it, you are being God’s “Yes!”

A hug, a smile, a kind word for friend, family or a stranger…holding the door for the person behind you and giving them a smile, waiting 5 seconds to let that car into the line ahead of you.

Every prayer, formal or just a quick “Arrow” prayer for someone.

Donation to the Food Bank, donating and working at the Thrift Store. Caring about all of creation…as someone said the other day “Step over ants put worms back in the grass, rescue baby caterpillars, release spiders back into your garden, open windows for bees to fly home.”

Recycle, Reuse, Reduce!
Being a voice for Justice…justice in our community, our country and our world.

These are all God’s “Yes!” that we are asked to participate in doing.

We really never know where each little act of kindness will go…like ripples in a pond when you drop a pebble into it, they spread out across the whole expanse. In each we are repeating God’s “Yes!”

Mahatma Gandhi said “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”

This is the Message of Easter…Hope, God “Yes!” God’s Love.