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Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

John 20: 1-10, NRSV

Preached Sunday, April 1, 2018 (Easter Sunday) at Westfield Church by the Rev. Jonathan Chapman

Some years are harder than others. They’re years you just can’t wait to be done with—years you are glad to never see again. Maybe it’s the year you lost a loved one or faced an unimaginable tragedy. Maybe it’s the year you were fired or had an accident or just didn’t know what to do.

Maybe it’s the year you couldn’t watch the news because it was just too grim or the year your family faced crippling debt. Maybe it’s the year your Dad died or your family suffered a miscarriage. Maybe it’s the year your whole staff turned over.

Maybe it’s the year you felt buried in the tomb.

Maybe you didn’t have a year like that. But maybe you have. So today, for those you who’ve had that year, I offer my shortest and truest sermon about the Resurrection: It worked. Praise God.

It worked then. It works now. And it will work for you.


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