Summary: This is a fun Resurrection Sermon. It focus on the old tradition of the Red Egg. Listen as the Ancient Church shares with us the message of Jesus' Resurrection, Victory, Salvation and the Way to Everlasting Life. Sunrise Service/Egg Hunt/AM Service
Scripture: John 20:1-18
Theme: Easter and Red Eggs
Proposition: A fun sermon to around Resurrection Sunday. Instead all allowing the bunny, the egg hunts and all that stuff side track us - let's listen as the Ancient Church tells us about how the Red Egg speaks of Jesus' Resurrection, Victory, Salvation and New Life
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Only Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
Let us say once again this morning - CHRIST IS RISEN! CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED!
Whether the sun is shining bright, it is raining or even on those rarest of occasions when it is snowing, today is one of those days that we in the Church of the Jesus Christ celebrate to the fullest. For today is the day that we celebrate all the world the truth of Jesus Christ - His Mission, His Message and most importantly His Resurrection. Today is the day we celebrate that some 2,000 years ago God broke into human history as the Incarnated Son of God - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And that Jesus made a way for all people to be rescued, redeemed and restored into God's Holy Image.
It is also true that over the last 2,000 years or so there have been some rather strange things that have attached themselves to our celebration of Resurrection Sunday. Some of those things have been quite harmless while others have almost twisted and turned the message of Jesus' Resurrection upside down. For example:
We have noticed that nearly everywhere you go and shop the shelves have been filled with:
+All types, shapes and sizes of Easter baskets filled with all kinds of different eggs, candies and other goodies
+Little stuff animals in the shapes of an Easter bunny or a rabbit or some other cute furry animal
+Easter lilies ready to burst forth in bloom
+Dogwood branches or some other floral design ready to be put out for show
Now, for the most part each one of those things are basically harmless. All the chocolate candy is wonderful to eat, the little stuff animals bring a great deal of comfort and the flowers bring forth a great deal of beauty. The only time they are harmful is if we completely remove the Cross, the Tomb, the Angels, Jesus and His Resurrection. We can have all those other things but central to today and the message of Jesus is His Resurrection, His Victory over Death and the means of Salvation. We must make sure that alongside our children hunting Easter eggs and eating all that chocolate we tell them the true story of Jesus and His Resurrection.
The truth is more children today get more excited about the coming of the Easter Bunny than they do about the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven through Jesus Christ. And why shouldn't they? After all the bunny shows us week after week before Easter and welcomes babies and children to have their picture taken with him. And if we are not careful as parents and grandparents we will think more about our adventure with the Easter bunny than we will about Holy Week, the Stations of the Cross, Communion or Sunrise Services.
What is the answer? Are we to boycott the Easter bunny, the Easter egg hunt and all that wonderful chocolate and other candies? Should we put up great signs denouncing the bunny and all the other stuff that has attached itself to Resurrection Sunday?
Personally, I don't think that is the direction that we should be traveling. What I do think we should be doing is not boycotting but promoting the truth. We should be doing the same thing that the disciples did 2,000 years ago and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. We should begin by looking back into the history of some of these symbols and bringing out their richness. We must recapture the reason they were brought into the Resurrection and Christian Story in the first place.
Over the years many people have had a problem with the image and person of St. Nicholas or as he is called in our country Santa Claus. There has been some who want nothing more than to get rid of him. But the truth behind the image is amazing. It is the story of an ancient Bishop who did everything he could to share the love of Jesus Christ with the less fortunate. Bishop Nicholas gave up his inherited fortune to help the poor especially those who were in danger of being molested and abused. The more you know the true story of St. Nicholas the more you understand how the myths around him arose. St. Nicholas is this wonderful story of what happens to a person when they allow themselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit and live a Spirit led life. Rather than being a detriment in sharing the Good News about Jesus the more you know of the true story the more you see that Santa Claus is a great example of a progressive holiness lifestyle.