"Tangible Resurrection: Easter Sunday"
This video is the final part in a Holy Week video mini-series from the Rt. Rev. David Reed, Bishop of West Texas. In "Tangible Resurrection: Keeping Holy Week in a Time of Distance," Bishop Reed reflects on the spiritual richness of walking the road to Jerusalem with Jesus during a Holy Week marked by physical distance.
Bishop Reed shares in the final video of the series, "Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! Now is the victory of our God. Christ is trampling down death. In him the tomb is open, the grave no longer holds us, for in Christ all shall be made alive.
Happy Easter, and what a time for joy. What a time to, at least spiritually, bust out of our confined spaces and celebrate this joyful day of resurrection together. We should laugh and sing. We should dance and listen to great music. We should call people we love and tell them that we love them. We should tell our neighbors, "Good morning and happy Easter!"
There's a custom - I'm not sure if it's a real custom or not, but I heard it was true, and it should be if it's not. And that custom was that in England, back in the Middle Ages, the people would gather in the churchyards the week after Easter to tell jokes. They would tell jokes to celebrate resurrection, to celebrate God's great joke on sin, death, and the devil. I have a couple of jokes that I'll save for later, but for now, just hear this story from one of the apocryphal gospels, one of those writings that's a little bit strange and didn't make it into Holy Scripture. And it's a story of Jesus lying dead in the tomb. And in the darkness and cold of the tomb, Satan comes in to celebrate his victory, to gloat at Jesus' death. And he leans over to look at Jesus' body, and all of the sudden, Jesus' eyes open, and Jesus laughs. Jesus laughs in the face of death and the devil.
And so we join in God's great joke on that which would destroy life, on God's confident belly laugh in the resurrection, that all shall be well.
So, here's two jokes for you, for Easter, and you should tell each other jokes today. First, what do you get when you cross a Jehovah's Witness and an Episcopalian? That would be, somebody who rings your doorbell, and when you open the door, doesn't say anything. So for us, even Episcopalians, our call, our delight is to tell Good News, to tell this story of resurrection.
Here's my second joke, the one I made up on my own. What are two things that Episcopalians really hate? One is to be told, "You really need to be in church." And the other is [to be told], "You really need not to come to church." That's the life we're living, right now, where we wish we could be together. But in Christ, we are together. In Christ, we are, indeed, one Body.
And so, my hope, my prayer this day is that we'll find times to laugh, and that we will laugh with joy, not polite, Episcopal laughter, but belly laughing, gut-aching kinds of laughter that come from deep within, for in Christ we too shall be raised, and life endures.
And so, Alleluia. Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed. Come let us adore him. Alleluia!"