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Every Sunday Is Easter

Something happens in the Gospel stories after Easter, after the Resurrection.

The early church begins a pattern of gathering together to tell stories, pray, listen, and break bread together on the first day of the week, mirroring the empty tomb and the startling news that Jesus had risen.

Decades and centuries later, churches gather on Sunday mornings to mirror that pattern, to celebrate and remember that on the first day of the week, God was on the move.

Indeed, there is symbolism as well to the creation stories of Genesis 1, where God begins to usher in the beauty and wonder of the cosmos on the first day.

Of course, this doesn’t mean people of faith haven’t worshipped on other days throughout the week or that Sunday itself is somehow holy and better than all the other days of our calendar. It just represents a pattern that weaves our lives into a story of renewal and transformation. Every start of the week represents, just like the beginning of a year or a month, a chance to turn the page on what was.

This is why every Sunday is a mini-Easter. As people of faith, we never stop celebrating the abundant love of God that we find together, in our ancient stories, in music and laughter, in the breaking of bread, in gentle touch and loving community.

But let’s also get real – we are a peculiar community of faith. Yes, at our core we seek the way, the example, of Jesus that desires our liberation and care for each other and for our world. We are also aiming for inclusion of folks who are on different faith journeys or who don’t necessarily believe in God. There is room at this table for everyone.

But Sundays aren’t what they used to be. More and more data shows that younger folks coming up are less tethered to faith traditions. They may be anti-faith or they may just not care one way or another.

Do we, a faith community, double down on Sundays, throw all of our eggs in this basket?

Or do we explore other ways of connecting with our neighbors, sharing love, and discovering what God is up to throughout the rest of week?

Resurrection is a poetic idea. I love how Marcus Borg, the professor and author, reminded us that resurrection is not resuscitation. Jesus didn’t stop breathing and then start breathing. The scripture stories point to something far more blurry, profound, mystical, and mysterious. Jesus overcame death. The tomb could not contain him. He appeared behind locked doors and in unlikely places, sometimes obscured from the eyes of grieving, confused disciples. The early church could not bottle him up – he moved on ahead of them.

In this broader season of Easter, as we celebrate our mini-Easters, can we imagine those mini-Easters happening in our community at other times? Is Jesus on the move ahead of us? Are there folks who are walking lonely roads, confused and afraid, that need a listening ear, a gentle companion, a prayerful friend? Can that movement of liberation go beyond worship services, bible studies, service projects? What if everyday was a Sunday?

I want to explore some of those questions in the coming year with you, church, as we think about who we are called to be and how we can widen this table of love.

Thanks to be God! And happy Easter!

Rev. Nathan