Sermon

John 20:1-18

What I Learned at Sam’s

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John 20:1-18

What I Learned at Sam’s

By Deacon Rod Amon

I was in Sam’s not too long ago; trying not to spend all the money I had which is hard not to do there.  In the book aisle were some Easter Books for children. I took some time to look at them and they all started with what Easter symbols are, and then explained why they are like Easter.

One good book talked about Jelly Beans and other candy.  Most candy like jellybeans, Peeps, chocolate rabbits are symbols that imply new life that comes with the resurrection of Jesus.

Another book had pictures and told about Eggs.  What would Easter be without colored eggs? They represent new life; as in the fresh colors of spring have been a symbol of spring since ancient times. Christians adopted the egg as an Easter symbol because of the relationship between Easter and the renewal of life.

Even the stone rolled over the opening of Jesus’ tomb can be like an egg.  When Jesus rose and left the tomb he was reborn with new life.

I learned about New Clothes and Shoes.  Many Christians wear new clothes & shoes to honor Easter. Wearing new finery may have originated from the old practice of having the newly baptized wear white clothes for the Easter celebration. Like many other Easter symbols, the new clothes represent the new beginning offered through the death and Resurrection of our Lord.

I learned about Parades.  In the early church, those who were baptized at the Easter Vigil wore their white robes all during Easter week as a symbol of their new life in Christ.
People who had been baptized in previous years wore new clothes to indicate their oneness in the new life. New clothes at Easter became a symbol of Easter grace.

Another funny book told about Bunnies, Ducks, and Chicks. I learned that because they are newly born, they represent the new life of resurrection when Jesus rose from the dead.

I learned about the Lily.  The lily is a symbol of purity because of its whiteness and delicacy of form. It also represents innocence and the radiance of the Lord’s risen life. It is called the Easter Lily because the flowers bloom in early spring, around Easter time.

Easter has always had a relatively “sweet” appeal for many cultures for hundreds of years. Regardless of people’s beliefs and reasons for celebrating Easter, it has always held the strong appeal of being a time where things are reborn, fresh, and new. It is, for the most part, a happy time; when one can celebrate all that is good in the world.

All the things I mentioned earlier are cool and can be fun, but what is Easter really about for Christians?

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Isn’t Easter about God’s Son, the one he sent to earth to suffer and die for all of us?  He died to save us from our sin.  After three days in the tomb, he was resurrected so we all can live.  He now sits at the right hand of his father God.

Jesus wants us to live, and he wants to live inside us so we may be filled up with his love.

For over 2000 years we followers of Christ have celebrated His resurrection. We paint Easter eggs; Christ comes from the tomb as a chick from the egg. We don new clothes, signs of a new Easter life. We decorate with flowers; they tell of spring’s rebirth. We wish one another Easter happiness, the true joy of Christ bringing life to all.

But the ideal celebration takes place at the altar. During this Mass we keep in mind what we are celebrating especially today—the resurrection of our Redeemer. In His spirit, in His victory over death and the grave, in His joy and peace, we can wish one another what I wish to every one of you – a Happy, Triumphant Easter.

Copyright 2007, Rod Amon.  Used by permission