The Easter sermon is always a challenge for me. The rest of the year, I try to give sermons for people with scientific minds. If I’m going to talk about the meaning of life, I don’t leave out the fact that Darwinism has forever changed that topic. If I’m going to talk about heaven, I have to deal with the fact that, after Einstein, we can’t really think of an eternal place because space and time cannot be separated.
Within my own limits, I try to make St. Andrew’s a place where people with a modern worldview can be intellectually honest. So, I dread Easter morning when so many visitors come for the first time expecting the story of Easter to be told as they have always heard it. When I try to discuss what “resurrection” might mean within reality as we live it, I can almost see the flowers on their bonnets begin to droop.
This year I’m thinking about looking at Psalm 46 to tell the Easter story. This is the Psalm that Luther used to write “A Mighty Fortress.” It talks about earthquakes and falling empires and says there is a river running through it all. I’ve always loved that image of eternity being in the midst of change. I also want to take a scientific essay called, “The Immortality of the Flock” and looks at how a flock remains the same through all the births and deaths of individuals. Their “immortality” isn’t found in stretching out their own individuality, but in joining a larger life.
Hopefully that fusion will be reality based enough for St. Andrew’s regulars, and hopeful enough for our Easter visitors.