FIRST

UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Midtown Sacramento 21st & J

Bishop Carcaño Easter Message

Brothers, Sisters, Family, Friends,

Blessed Easter Sunday 2021 to all of you!
Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
Alleluia!

Thank you for spending Holy Week with me wondering about the amazing faithful presence of God with us.
And here we are together on Easter Sunday!

The Gospel According to Mark has been our help as we have wondered. Today is no exception. Hear the word of witness from generation to generation all the way to this Easter Sunday.

In the 16th chapter of Mark we find the faithful story……
16 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.[a]And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. [b]

Mark 16:1-8 NRSV

Alleluia! The mighty good news of our faith! Thanks be to God!

Mark is the right gospel account to read on this Easter Sunday when we find ourselves living in terror and amazement just like our sisters Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joseph and Salome. A global pandemic has held us hostage through a second Easter. We have experienced a season of death and dying that seems to have no end. Yet amazement has also been our experience – the sacrificial service of essential workers in every category of life, the courage of those who have been stricken by COVID-19, and the perseverance of communities around the world who have found ways to encourage neighbors, near and far. It is amazing to observe the human spirit at its best. But no greater has been the amazing ways that God has sustained us in our living and in our dying.

I am so grateful for all of you who have persevered in the terror of the year we have lived giving witness to the amazing ways that God does sustain us day by day. Pastors and all clergy, wherever you are serving, thank you for your faithfulness. Lay persons, thank you for the loving and bold ways you have served those who have been afflicted by death, by fear, by loneliness, by hunger, by homelessness, and by the unfortunate increase of racism and racial hatred.

Now on this Easter Sunday find rest and joy in the glorious news that all has been cared for.
The stones holding back the fullness of life, heavy as they are, have been rolled away by God’s grace and power.
Death cannot hold us back from life, for Jesus has overcome death!
The way forward has been made clear, an angel of mercy has come to tell us that Jesus our Lord is risen and goes before us.
All that is needed of us is that we share the good news: Christ is risen! Risen indeed! Alleluia!
God bless you on this Easter Sunday!

Click here to listen to the message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYni1FEccpo

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