In a conversation with Don Loving today, he summarized an article that he had read that suggested that for most Christians, the resurrection is not needed. When I looked at him inquisitively, hoping he would continue, he said, “well, we say that Jesus died for our sins so that we can go to heaven. And that is that.” It ends at the cross. So why resurrection? What’s the point? If Jesus did it all on Good Friday, then why do we get so excited about Easter? Why do we don our Easter best and sing our alleluias and celebrate that Christ the Lord is risen today? It is because resurrection literally changes the way we live out our days here on earth. We can now live abundantly on this earth in 2022 despite the fact that the world is still crying out all around us. Don reminded me that the disciples were too afraid to even be seen with Jesus before they knew of the resurrection, but after resurrection they were not only unafraid, they left their fearful rooms and proclaimed the good news boldly despite persecution and oppression. We are invited to live the same joy in our life today because of resurrection. There is nothing left to fear! There is nothing left to mourn! Death has been defeated! Alleluia!
And so this Sunday we are going to celebrate Holy Humor Sunday, a Sunday based in the custom that taught that Easter Monday and Bright Sunday celebrations were rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. Easter was ‘God’s supreme joke played on death.’ During this Sunday’s worship, we will change things up a little, encouraging laughter and silliness to demonstrate the sheer joy of resurrection and the impact it can have on our lives today. We hope you will bring your favorite “knock knock” joke to share during the passing of the peace. And feel free to dress in costumes or silly hats.
The truth is that although Presbyterians have been called the Frozen Chosen for a very long time now, “we believe in the God who called Jesus Christ forth from the grave to grant us forgiven, abundant, joyful, and grace-filled lives. Thankfully, we do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit who thaws us out and fills us with this very life. The people of the church share the genuine warmth of that same Spirit. Members of our churches depart worship on Sundays with a lightness of countenance and a zest for life, as if unbound from an icy river after a long, cold winter — free to go out to serve God with purpose and passion. Oh, the church still has its struggles, but we not only believe in resurrection — we expect it — and we trust that our God is a God who moves mountains and moves a people to look forward, not backward” (Rev. John Sawyer).
See you Sunday with all of the Resurrection Joy we can find!
9:00 a.m.: Chancel Choir
10:30 a.m.: Holy Humor Sunday Worship Service
11:00 a.m.: Administrative Committee Building Walk Through
4:00 p.m.: Discipleship Committee Meeting
4:00 p.m.: Called Session Meeting
6:00 p.m.: Handbell Rehearsal
9:00 a.m.: Chancel Choir
10:30 a.m.: 3rd Sunday of Easter
O Great Laughing God,
we come into your presence with joy and longing to be surprised.
We thank you that you have given to us the gift of laughter and delight.
These things give hints as to the nature of your purpose for us
and for all the earth.
May we find that in giving up to laughter
there is healing and hope and abundance and blessing.
Tickle our souls with the brush of your Spirit
to renew our worship and our living. Amen.
~ from the United Church of Canada’s Bay of Quinte Conference website.
If you have something to include in the May newsletter, please send it to Brittany at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday!