Sermon summaries and audio files
Eckardtesian Thought: I think, therefore I write . . .
Vigil of Easter. The video is here.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Behold, there was a great earthquake. The angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.
For the earth itself gave birth. A new creation is born from the dead. This was the second earthquake, for we recall that the first had happened when Jesus had died, and had cried with a loud voice, the earth did quake, and the rocks brake. These were the earth’s labor pains. The earth was in travail and sorrow, because her hour was come: the Creator of the world had died, and so all of creation was in turmoil. Labor pains, that continued until this great moment at last.
Creation itself has been refashioned and recapitulated and reborn. Second birth! Jesus springs forth out of the womb of the grave. And behold, all things are made new. And all things recoil at this transformation. And the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
For these were the men that Pilate had sent to keep watch; they shook and became as dead men. They shook because they were overcome by the fierce angel of the Lord who descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it, whose countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. They shook with fear and trembling, for they were bound to the old creation that was consumed by the new at this moment. The lightning-white appearance of the angel was as overwhelming as the earthquake. Judgment fell upon them who were bound to the old creation. The time had come for them to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. There was no escape. They became as dead men, for they were as dead men, and so also was all the fallen world. It was over, it was all over. The old is dead and gone, and so the keepers shake, and rocks, hills, and plains.
And the new is born! So now did the earth shake not with death but with life, and rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy. Christ is born again! He steps out of the womb of the earth. Man is born again. The earth gives up her dead, and is delivered of the child, and the new creation rejoices, and remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a Man is born into the world.
For the Creator had died as man, to whom he had bound himself; and now he rises as man, and so raises the earth with him and in him. Behold, says he, I make all things new.
And the angel said unto the women, Fear not ye! Fear not, O Christian heart, for you have been born from above, born anew, born again. Fear not, for the judgment that came upon the world does not fall upon you. The angel of death passes by, passes over your house, and you are delivered from Pharaoh and all his host, who have drowned in the sea. But you were saved by that sea, for the waters that destroyed your enemy have rescued you from him. The same glorious event that brought an end to the old has brought a new beginning and new life to you.
For Christ is the firstborn from the dead. Now you may expect that the rest shall surely follow. For Jesus already has taken his stand upon the earth, and the women came and held him by the feet and worshipped him. Behold, he lives. He who was dead dieth no more. He has been raised incorruptible and he has been changed. And so shall they be changed, and so shall you be changed, O Christian.
The earth dies and the earth is born! For Christ died and was born. Yes, Nicodemus, a man can enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born, and indeed he has, for his first mother was Mary, and his second mother is the earth itself, from which his very flesh was first fashioned.
Rejoice, O Christian, and fear not! Your redemption has come. Not only have your sins been done away, but your Righteousness has descended from heaven, white as snow, with a shout. The darkness and misery of Friday’s death gives way to the sunrise and light of Easter’s life. The dry ground that came up out of the water on the third day of creation reaches its fulfillment in the new ground that came up out of the Baptismal font of the earth on the great third day, the day of Christ’s resurrection. And joy replaces fear, and gladness replaces mourning, and good replaces evil, and God crushes the devil, as life replaces death forever.
For the earth has quaked, and given up her dead, and has given birth to Christ who had died but is now risen from the dead and dieth no more, and heaven and all its angels now sing for joy. O sing with them, sing, and rejoice and be glad. For your Salvation has taken his stand upon the earth.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!