And they found the stone rolled away Luke 24:2

Today’s Gospel records the discovery of the empty tomb and proclaims the message of Easter: He is risen.

Easter is the story of our God who acted and continues to act in history. Easter is the story of our God who uses his almighty power to destroy the powers of evil. Easter is the story of our God who permits evil and brings good out of it. Easter is the story of our God who turns despair into hope and doubt into joyous faith.

The Resurrection is the story of our God who does not run or walk away and leave us to fate. It is the story of our God who is faithful to his promise: I am with you always even to the end of the age. Easter is the story of our God who walks and runs with us, shares our sorrows and pains and rejoices with us when in his power and strength are triumph over the forces of evil we encounter in our lives.

The Easter message is pregnant with moral implications for Christian living: “If then you be raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” In the verses that follow St. Paul explains that seeking the things that are above involve the renunciation of fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness.

As persons who accept the Easter story we are called to strive for a life of purity, righteousness and holiness. If we identify with Christ there can be no room in our lives for deliberate sins, which separate us from God and consign us to a life of slavery to sing. The Easter story is the story of our God who calls to turn our backs on sin and live upright lives that are not dominated by sin and evil.

The empty tomb is the story of God’s vindication of his Son: The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.” The Easter story says that Jesus was right when he claimed to be God’s Son and announced his messiahship. This story says that what Jesus did was right thing and that what he said was the truth.  This story vindicates, confirms and proves correct all the teaching and claims of Christ and puts to silence his detractors.

Throughout the Bible our God is depicted as the God of Justice. The Easter story is the story of our God who triumphs over man’s injustice to man. The Resurrection challenges us to work for justice in our society and the world always confident of victory.

If we accept that the Easter story is a story of justice we must see it an obligation to work for the creation of a just society. One of the greatest social justice issues facing our nation and the world is the despicable face of poverty. Poverty is a human curse. It robs us of our true humanity. The fight against this scourge is the concern of all of us. We cannot perpetuate a social system that endorses the gulf between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have nots. As long as people continue to live sub human lives the full impact of the Resurrection will not be realised.

The Easter story is the story of our God who is alive and active in his world. God in Christ is present and active whenever we meet for fellowship as we do this morning. He is present in the Blessed Sacrament of Christ’s body and blood.

Christ is alive and present in those places and people we less expect to find him. He is present and alive in the sacred scriptures. He is present in our slums, in our drug addicts, our prostitutes and sex workers; he is present in the faces of those who live with HIV/AIDS, he is present in the aged of our society, he is present in those persons incarcerated in prison, he is present in those persons whose sexual preference differs from ours, in short he is present in all persons, especially those who we might considered the outcast of the earth. Is not this the story of Easter: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

The Easter story is the story of our God who assures us that all is well. It is a story of optimism. This truth is captured in Julian of Norwich's famous and resounding words, "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." Julian’s was based on her experience of God’s love and the power of Jesus’ resurrection. This optimism allowed her to see God in people, places and events where, for most of us, he remains hidden. The songwriter Edward Grant, penned: “I know All is well that ends well, and so...all is well with my soul.”

Finally, the story of Easter is the story of the God we serve. We do not serve a puny God. We do not serve a God who exists in oblivion. We do not serve a god who is unknown to us. We serve a God in whom “we live and move and have our being.”

The story of Easter is the story of our Great, Big, Wonderful God who is Almighty (omnipotent) all knowing (omniscience) and all seeing (omnipresent).

The story of Easter is the story of our Great, Big, Wonderful God who got the whole world in his hand.

The story of Easter is the story of our Great, Big, Wonderful God in whom we live and move and have our being. To this God be the glory. Amen.  Alleluia.

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