Project Description




Easter

 

Happy Easter everybody!!!

 

What if I told you

that for a lot of us Christians. . .

 

we only celebrate part of the Easter story. . .

 

just a part?!?!?!

 

It’s like being invited to

the hottest Broadway show in town. . .

 

and that first act. . .

it’s so wonderful!

 

It’s so positive and uplifting. . .

it gives such great hope!!

 

It’s so good,

that when the curtain comes down

on the first act. . .

we think we’ve seen the whole play. . .

 

we leave celebrating the great victory won by Christ. . .

 

but what if there’s more. . .

what if there’s a second act in the Easter Story. . .

 

a second act just as astonishing. . .

and hopeful

as what was in the first act.

 

There’s always more with Jesus!!!!. . .

There’s always more Good News!!!

 

We know the first act well.

 

Something has gone terribly wrong with humanity. . .

 

With the freedom that God gave us. . .

we tend to do things our own way. . .

not God’s way.

 

And the results are disastrous. . .

 

Conflicts and division and violence,

both personally and collectively. . .

 

Poverty. . .

 

Suffering. . .

 

Sickness. . .

 

And Death!!!

 

Humanity no longer lives in paradise!!!

 

But God loves us so much that

He has a rescue plan!

 

A plan that begins with Abraham

and the Chosen People. . .

 

And then God gives Moses the Law. . .

the Ten Commandments to remind

again of God’s way of doing things.

 

And then there’s the great prophets to

further remind the people of God’s ways. . .

 

And then. . .

the final and the definitive part

of God’s rescue plan.

 

From the Chosen People. . .

God sends the Messiah. . .

God sends Jesus. . .

 

The Anointed One of God. . .

Jesus the Christ. . .

fully human and fully divine.

 

And Jesus shows us even

more about the ways of God!!!

 

But Jesus does more!!!. . .

There’s always more!!!

Jesus does something that only

someone who is fully human and

fully divine can do. . .

 

He saves us!!!

 

Jesus sets right all the disasters that

come from us doing things our way. . .

 

In Jesus. . .

the supposed paradox of

justice and mercy come together.

 

Justice and Mercy come together

in the Crucified Jesus on the Cross!!!

 

And on the third day. . .

Jesus rises from the dead. . .

 

And now death is defeated. . .

 

death no longer has the final say for humanity!!!

 

Eternal life is now offered to us!!!

 

And the Risen Jesus ascends to heaven

to prepare a place for us. . .

 

in His Father’s house there are many dwelling places.

 

And the Risen and Ascended Jesus

sends the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

to be with us still. . .

 

And there’s the Eucharist!!!

 

Jesus and His Spirit still here to comfort us. . .

 

To lead and guide us in the ways of God!!!

 

There is hope. . .

There is great hope!!!

 

So when we die. . .

it is not the end. . .

With that Great Hope. . .

after some purification process

to ready ourselves to

live with God for eternity. . .

 

We go to heaven with Jesus. . .

and all because of Jesus.

 

That’s what we celebrate today. . .

 

Jesus has done something for us

that we could never do for ourselves. . .

 

Eternal life with God!!!

 

And the curtain goes down. . .

the first act is done!!!

 

But stay. . . there’s more. . .

We can sometimes forget. . .

there’s more. . .

 

Always more of the Good News with Jesus!!!

 

There’s still Act II of the Easter story!!!

 

As the curtain lifts for Act II. . .

 

it’s some day in the future. . .

a day that only God the Father knows.

 

And Jesus the Christ. . .

The Messiah comes again. . .

 

His second coming.

 

He comes again like that great figure

in the Daniel 7. . .

the Son of Man. . .

 

Jesus Himself tells us He’s the Son of Man

 

And with His second coming. . .

the benevolent King Jesus comes to rule. . .

 

He comes to rule a new heaven and a new earth!!!

 

Did you hear that. . .

 

The Easter story doesn’t end in heaven. . .

 

The Easter story ends in a new heaven and a new earth.

 

When Jesus comes again. . .

the heavenly realm and

the earthly realm come together. . .

 

These two realms have been

interconnected in some ways. . .

 

two different dimensions so to speak. . .

 

but now heaven and earth come together. . .

they become one new creation!!!

 

And our earthly bodies will be raised up. . .

Resurrected . . .

from the ground of the earth. . .

 

and our souls. . .

 

which have been waiting in heaven. . .

are reunited with our bodies. . .

 

and we’ll be complete again—

whole!!!

 

Our glorified bodies. . .

like Jesus’ Resurrected body!!!

 

Our same bodies. . .

But Oh, so incredibly different. . .

better. . .

indestructible!!!

 

This was all shown to

John the Revelator in

Revelation chapter 21. . .

 

John saw a new heaven and a new earth. . .

 

the former heaven and

the former earth had passed away

 

He saw in this new heaven and new earth. . .

 

There were no more tears. . .

 

No more death. . .

 

No more mourning. . .

 

No more wailing or pain!!!

 

The old order has passed away.

 

And John the Revelator

heard God say:

 

“Behold, I make all things new”. . .

 

“I make all things new”

 

There’s still more. . .

In this second act.

 

And in this heaven and this new earth. . .

creation itself is restored.

 

St. Paul says all creation groans for

the Second Coming of Jesus.

 

This new creation was shown to                    (Chapter 11)

prophet Isaiah:

 

He saw the wolf as the guest of the lamb. . .

 

and the leopard lying down with the young goat. . .

 

 

and the calf and the young lion. . .

they browse together

with a little child to guide them. . .

 

And He saw the lion eating hay like the ox. . .

 

and babies playing in the viper’s den!!!

 

And Isaiah heard God say:

“They shall not harm or destroy”

 

all creation will be filled with knowledge of the LORD.

 

And the Resurrected Jesus. . .

 

He’s the first representative of that new creation. . .

it starts at Easter.

 

Did you know that when Jesus says

“I’m going to prepare a place for you. . .

in my Father’s house there are

many dwelling places. . .

 

what the Greek actually means

is a temporary place.

 

Act I. . .

ends in heaven. . .

 

Act II. . .

ends in a new heaven and new earth. . .

 

A renewed humanity. . .

 

A renewed creation. . .

 

Living peacefully with God and each other.

 

Paradise has been restored. . .

the fullness of the Kingdom of God!!!

 

And as Easter people. . .

 

We live constantly with this great

hope and joy

of what’s coming. . .

 

We are Easter people. . .

signs for everyone so they see what’s coming!!!!

 

With God’s grace,

We give it all a head start.

 

That’s why we feed the poor

and clothe the naked. . .

and have hospitals where heal the sick are healed.

 

We are Easter people. . .

that’s why we forgiveness. . .

and show mercy. . .

and promote unity. . .

 

we are signs of what’s coming. . .

 

That’s what we celebrate. . .

 

and that’s what we act out. . .

 

The great hope and joy of Easter. . .

 

Act 1 and Act 2. . .

 

We are Easter people!!!

 

Holy Spirit 04/3-4/2021