Monday, April 6, 2015

This Holy Bulb of a Morning

Holy Saturday
April 4, 2015
Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Burlington, Vermont
The Very Rev. Jeanne Finan

This Holy Bulb of a Morning

Today is Holy Saturday.
What this means is that today, this morning,
on our journey through Holy Week
we are standing at the tomb.

Christ has been crucified.
His body placed in the tomb.
Everything we hoped for and dreamed of is over.
And yet....

Holy Saturday, to me, is like a bulb.

Many of you know this even better than I do.

A bulb is not very attractive by most standards.
It’s dry and brittle.
It looks dead and lifeless.

Except you and I know the truth.
You and I know the rest of a bulb’s story.
We know that when this bulb is laid in the ground,
if we are patient,
if we wait,
this bulb will explode into life
and beauty.

This is resurrection.
When all that seems dead is alive again.

We have all been through those “dead” times in our lives.
Times of loss and grief and emptiness.
Times when we felt--or may feel right now--
that we are as dry and brittle as this bulb appears to be.

We all face times when there is really nothing we can DO
to make things better--
all we can do is wait.
Be patient.
Hope and believe that life will come again.

Holy Saturday is the day we remember what it is like to wait.
What it is like to not know
what the future holds.

Holy Saturday is a day of waiting
but we are called to wait with faith, with hope
believing in the deepest parts of our being
that life will burst forth again.

Resurrection will happen.
Resurrection does happen.
Over and over.

But sometimes,
like this morning
we are given the task of waiting.

Many of us cannot just sit still all day.
We have things that must get done.
Flowers to put in place.
Altars to set.
Sermons to be edited and polished a bit.
Cooking and cleaning
in preparation for visitors that will soon arrive.

Our challenge is to not let busyness and worldly responsibilities
overwhelm us this day.
Out task is to keep at least a little corner of this day Holy.
As we work,
we are called to remember why we are doing these things that need doing.

We do this work because we know
there is something beyond the tomb.

I wanted to have a bulb to hold in my hand
as I preached this sermon,
to pass around so you, too, could feel
its dry and seemingly lifeless form.

So I went to Aubuchon Hardware near by home in Shelburne,
and I bought a packet of Stargazer Lily bulbs
(my favorite of all flowers).
But when I opened the package,
this is what I found....

Not dead and lifeless
but sprouting.
Resurrection already in process.

We have seen the face of resurrection before,
and we believe that we will see it once again.

We do this work to the glory of God.
In thanksgiving,
Whether we are working or waiting,
weeping or celebrating,
we know that God is with us.

On this day,
on this very holy Saturday.
On this holy bulb of a morning.

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