A circle of friends on pilgrimage for the love of God


Rev. Doug Floyd

Easter 2023
Rev. Doug Floyd
Matthew 28:1-10

I read an Epiphany poem this week that spoke to me deeply about our Easter celebration. This is Epiphany poem by George Mackay Brown.

Epiphany Poem

The red king
Came to a great water. He said,
Here the journey ends.
No keel or skipper on this shore.

The yellow king
Halted under a hill. He said,
Turn the camels round.
Beyond, ice summits only.

The black king
Knocked on a city gate. He said,
All roads stop here.
These are gravestones, no inn.

The three kings
Met under a dry star.
There, at midnight,
The star began its singing.

The three kings
Suffered salt, snow, skulls.
They suffered the silence
Before the first word.[1]

Three kings. They had gone as far as they could go. They suffered salt, snow, skulls. Each faced an obstacle they could not pass. Then a surprise: the star began its singing. They’re eyes were opened, and in the silence, they heard. They behold. The first word. The word made flesh.

This week we rehearsed the final days and hours of Jesus Christ. Even as we follow Jesus to the end, we realize the world itself was weary and at an end. Humanity had gone as far as it could go.

Peter was at an end. The fisherman turned disciple denied his Lord. Peter curses anyone who would associate him with Jesus. He hears a rooster and realizes that he has come to the end of himself. He went out and wept bitterly.

The Temple was at an end. The Temple was the dwelling place of God with man. It was built to be a house of prayer but it had become a den of robbers.

Israel was at an end. It has no eyes and no ears for the very God who redeemed it, created it, sustained it. “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”[2]

Rome was at an end. Though it claimed Pax Romana (Peace of Rome), it was built on blood and violence. Though Pilate claimed to enact justice, he washed his hands of justice and crucified the Lord of Glory to appease the shouting mobs.

The world was at an end. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”[3]

At the end of all things, the Son of God lays in a tomb. All hope is gone, love grown cold, the light gone out.

This morning we read, “Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week.”[4] A new day. The day after the Sabbath, the seventh day. On the eighth day, all things become new.

Time and space are changed. Now we live in the light of this eighth day, this new day, this day of salvation. Peter is “recalled to life.” Our risen Savior feeds Peter and the disciples, and then commands Peter, “Feed my sheep.”

The Jewish Scriptures are transformed. Jesus walks with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and reveals how all of Scripture is telling His story.

Rome is transformed. It was said that all roads led to Rome. The disciples would walk those roads, bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the far reaches of the empire.

All creation has been changed in light of the Risen Christ. We live and move and walk in light of Christ. And yet, we grow weary. We lose heart. Our love grows cold. Our light flickers.

In our weakness, His strength is revealed. The Risen Savior calls into the new day. The wonder of our faith is that each day is the day of salvation. Each day we wake to the day of salvation, the hope hidden behind the veil, the yes and amen of God in Jesus Christ.

Each day we wake to the star that sings and points us to the first Word, the living Word, Word made flesh. Each day we turn and face the Risen Lord. Though we draw from the riches of tradition, our faith is not in tradition but in a person.

Though we give voice to our faith in a series of doctrinal statements, our faith is not in a statement or an idea but in a person.

Though we study and reflect on the Bible, our faith is not in a book but in a person.

Whether we realize it or not, Jesus is the one who created us and sustains us. There is no independent existence outside of Christ. We are resurrected In Christ, through Christ and for Christ.

Today, we rejoice. We sing out the Alleluia. We feast on His love and His life. For He is Risen and all things have become new.

[1] Williams, Rowan. A Century of Poetry (p. 61-62). SPCK. Kindle Edition.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Jn 1:11.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Jn 3:19.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Mt 28:1.


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