"Once again we have come together on this Easter night to proclaim and confess our fundamental belief in the Resurrected Person that we call Jesus Christ. And all our faith, all our belief, all our convictions, all our teachings is based not on a theory, not on a philosophy, not on a hypothesis, not on an idea or on abstract thinking...but on a person. A human being.
That is why we are here: to proclaim, to confess, to underline this human being. Everything that Jesus Christ taught, lived and died for depended upon His Resurrection. Not a dictum or ideology, but a historical fact in time and space. We have to ask ourselves: How is this human being different? How is He distinct? How can we "tell Him apart"?Just notice and just think...In the world everything can be taken from us. They can take our possessions away. They can take our ownership away. They can take our money away and our titles away. Everything we have can be taken away, except, our death.
No one can take our death away.No one.No person.No guruNo prophet.No idol.No polytheistic gods.No holy person.No religious leader.No political leader.No prime minister.No pop star.No movie star.
Except one person: Christ. Except, Jesus Christ.Only Jesus Christ has made the claim and conviction that He takes away death. That is why we can sing, "Death where is your sting?", "Death where is your victory?". Jesus Christ has taken it away and destroyed Death by His death. Don't we chant, "Life in the tomb.."?
So tonight it's a message of hope, of confidence, of faith, of assurance.Life is not gloom and doom, like others teach.It's not a message of despair, of emptiness, of sadness. The world has given us that, with what we have all been experiencing and hearing in the last 5 months.With the Resurrection we are not dealing with something that's different or differs from earthly life. The Resurrection is not a different life, but it is this lived, loved and mortal life, which becomes different, healed, reconciled and perfected. Life lived on earth in love can offer inspiration to evoke life in God.
Therefore with Christ, with the Resurrected Christ, the person we celebrate tonight:Allow Him to enter our life.Allow Him to enter our pain.Allow Him to enter our wounds.Allow Him to enter our emptiness.Allow Him to enter our being.Allow Him to enter our death.
And everyone who has experienced death in the family, of a loved one, a friend, a family member, a child, a god parent, parent, wife or husband...whoever, whether here or overseas...tonight He gives comfort, hope, assurance. No person stops with the shovel of a grave digger. He has overcome death and no more are we in bondage. That is why we hold our lit candles tonight and we take them to our homes.
~ Rev Fr Leslie