The Resurrection is Against the Law

BillAn excerpt from Bill Wylie-Kellermann’s classic Seasons of Faith and Conscience (1991).

The sealing of the tomb is, I believe, notoriously misunderstood. I grew up with a Sunday School notion that to seal the tomb was a matter of hefting the big stone and cementing it tight. The seal, in my mind’s eye, was something like first-century caulking–puttying up the cracks to keep the stink in. Not so. This is a legal seal. Cords would be strung across the rock and anchored at each end with clay. To move the stone would break the seal and indicate tampering. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Disappointment as Easter Hope

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Finding Light in the disappointment, walking the path together.

Easter Year C

Luke 24:13-35

A café in Toronto is to us, what the town square was to locals and travelers alike in villages in first century Palestine. Taking a quick detour from my compulsive list of daily activities, I deke into the café at the corner of King St. East and Jarvis. Filled with other delightful misfits and strangers I find solace in their company. As I snuggle up onto the only remaining seat on a bench with my earl grey tea, a young woman smiles at me.

Breaking news at the top of the hour is alarming: “The former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould and the former Minister of Indigenous Relations Jane Philpott have been removed from the Liberal Caucus!” My neighbor and I begin to talk. A woman at another table is moved by our animated conversation: “What has happened?” she presses. Seemingly the only three in the café that know the events of late, our debate begins. We agree, at the heart of the “SNC-Lavalin” matter is not just a personal misunderstanding, but rather the power of corporations to define the overarching political and economic landscape above public interests. I am ever more incensed with the reality of corporate power when the news continues with the coverage of Canada’s climate change. The report is “beyond grim.” It warns that Canada’s climate has been warming at roughly twice the rate of the rest of the world!  In Northern Canada, it’s even higher.” As our communal lament continues, a man with his back turned to us as he leaves, snaps: “I am tired of this conversation they should just move on, this is the way the world is.” His aggressive afront is disheartening, even as he leaves without the respect of listening.  It’s the deadening silence from so many others who remain fixed to their phones though, that fuels my disappointment more. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Wonder and the True Easter Lily

skunk_cabbage.jpgEaster, Year B
Acts 10:34-43
Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
John 20:1-18
Mark 16:1-8

By Jessica Miller

Across the northeast of North America at this season, a wonder is happening. The flowers of Symplocarpus foetidus have begun emerging and blooming from swamps and wet places. These true Easter-lilies—members of the same family of the Calla ‘lily’—are more commonly known as skunk-cabbage. Varieties of the plant also grow in Japan, where the red robe-like blossoms resembling a monk’s hood have gained it the name Zazen-sou, or Zen meditation plant.

Continue reading

Jesus and the Easter Bunny

By Joyce Hollyday

Easter bunny

During an overly pious phase in my childhood, my favorite holiday was Maundy Thursday. I had nothing against the traditional favorites of Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. I did, after all, grow up in Hershey, Pennsylvania—raised in the First United Methodist Church on Chocolate Avenue, where the domes on the street lights resemble Hershey’s kisses and the fragrance of chocolate hung often in the air. I had no complaint against holidays that brought bonanzas of candy and gifts. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: Breath

leaf

Ron Berezan

Second Sunday of Easter
John 20: 19-31
By Ron Berezan

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:19-22

Living in fear can be hazardous to your health. Refugees, women subject to domestic violence, the imprisoned, the poor, the conquered and the otherwise oppressed and marginalized live with this daily. Not knowing who might burst through that locked door at any time and what violence they may inflict. Not knowing what tomorrow holds. Never sure who you can trust. Shallow breath, tension, always on edge. Exhaustion. Fear and locked doors. Continue reading

Sermon: “Preceding the Dawn”

dawn.jpgBy Bill Wylie-Kellermann, Easter Vigil, April 16, 2017
– St. Peter’s Episcopal and Detroit Catholic Worker

Matthew 281-10

Dan Berrigan, now of blessed memory, who crossed over to the ancestors and saints a year ago this month, has since been repeatedly quoted as saying, “If you want to follow Jesus, you better look good on wood.” Theology in a quip. He also said, though less famously, “It all started with the Resurrection…If only we would have stayed put!”

I love the particulars, the details of Matthew’s story of how Jesus refused to stay put – and more often than not, God is in the details. Let me mention a few unique to Matthew’s Gospel. Continue reading