Saturday, March 30, 2013

This is the night!

This is the night
that we gather in the darkness,
and watch while the Easter fire jumps
from wick to wick, from hand to hand. 

This is the night
that light spreads
From neighbor to neighbor
And friend to friend
On the hillside behind the parish.

This is the night
That we lift up our voices
And cry, “Lumen Christi!  Light of Christ!”
As we follow that fire
Into a dark and waiting church. 

This is the same fire
That spoke to Moses in a burning bush
And lit the spark of freedom. 

This fire once moved through the desert,
And led God’s people out of bondage. 

This fire once burst into a quiet room
And filled the disciples
With a Spirit powerful enough
To claim the world. 

This is the night! 

This is the night that we gather around the fire
And remember who we are-
The night that we pause to tell the story.
It can’t be neatly bound
Inside the covers of a book,
And it won’t stay put upon the shelf.
It can’t be tamed or controlled
Or even completely understood,
It demands faith.

This story can be told a thousand times
In a thousand different voices,
And somehow, each time, we hear something new. 

This story is so powerful
That it explodes galaxies into life. 

It is a story so enduring,
That time and death have no meaning. 

This is the story of a fire so bright,
It can illuminate each and every corner
Of an empty tomb.

Tonight, that empty tomb
Stands open before us,
Not just as the happy ending of a familiar story-
Not just of a personal invitation,
Or an eternal promise-

But as a challenge. 

This isn’t a story
That can simply be told and retold
Among families and friends.

This isn’t a fire that can be used
Just to warm our own hands.

 It’s not something to be lit
And blessed and passed
From neighbor to neighbor
And then blown out. 

This is the night
That the Alpha and the Omega,
The beginning and the end
The past and the future
Meet in the present.
Right here in this church
Right now among us.

Tonight Christ invites us
To look inside the empty tomb
And promise that our light
Will be bright enough
To transform the darkness. 

Tonight Christ leads us to the font,
And reminds us that this water
Must be deep enough
To flood a parched land.
Plunged into His death through the waters of baptism
dying to sin and the old ways
We are likewise raised to newness of life with him. 

Tonight Christ feeds us at the table
And asks that we share this bread with a starving people. 

Tonight we can’t just light the fire
And tell the story. 

We have to be willing to take
This light and this story
To every dark corner-
To places of pain
To places of need
To places of terror 

Lumen Christi!
Light of Christ!
Beautiful words, beautiful liturgy.
But unless we are willing to become the fire
And the water and the bread,
We don’t really understand this story at all. 

Two thousand years ago,
Some frightened and mournful women
Went to a tomb
To anoint a friend.
The emptiness they discovered there
Still has the power to fill the world. 

Christ is risen!
The tomb is empty!
This light is entrusted to you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Alleluia Alleluia Christ is risen! And we are sent even in our brokenness made whole by the One whose light, whose food truly fills us and strengthens us.