Sermon: The Easter Difference

christ-is-risenText: Matthew 28:1-10

Sermon Excerpt

Pam Driesell, a Presbyterian pastor, tells a story of her good friend Mary’s recent Easter experience.  To make sure her four-year old daughter Elena really understood what Easter is all about Mary tried talking to her about it.

“Mommy, will the Easter bunny bring me purple jelly beans?”

I am sure he will bring you jelly beans, Elena. But, remember, Easter isn’t about the bunny. It’s about Jesus.

“But will they be purple?”

Yes, honey, I am sure there will be some purple ones in there. Honey, the important thing about Easter isn’t the bunny. Easter is about how much Jesus loves you and me and the whole world.

“Mommy, HOW MANY purple jelly beans will the Easter Bunny bring me?”

Elena, I think he will probably bring plenty of purple jellybeans. Do you know how much Jesus loves you?

“Mommy…”

Yes Elena?

“Will he bring me tootsie rolls too?”

What a world Elena inhabits!  Those of you with young children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren know just how important the right candy can be to a child on Easter.

While we expect a focus on sugary fun from a four year old, we may be less apt to admit that sometimes our own Easter experiences overemphasize things we buy.  It is hard to resist purchasing new Easter outfits, creating Easter baskets for others, decorating with lilies, and securing the best food possible for a family feast.

None of these things are bad, but hopefully you came here this morning because you are seeking something more:

  • perhaps you are seeking wisdom for a challenging situation,
  • maybe you just want to connect or reconnect with God,
  • or it’s possible you may be here for the Easter difference.

Think about how the day begins.  The two Mary’s know that Jesus is dead.  The future they had been planning for themselves died with Jesus.  They were mourning.  In the midst of their grief they did the only thing they knew to do; they went where Jesus was.

Three days ago they were unprepared for Jesus death.  Today they are prepared to mourn.  They just want to be close to Jesus.

While all four Gospel writers include this story, only Matthew features special effects that would play well to a modern audience on a movie screen . . . (read full manuscript)

So What?

The message today is simple:

  • Don’t be afraid.
  • Do be an Easter people, and respond to the call to make an Easter difference in our world.

What will be your first steps in seeking to live into today’s message?

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