Charles Wesley wrote, “Christ the Lord is risen today. Earth and heaven in chorus say…” So both earth and heaven celebrate Easter today. And that means that we hairless apes aren’t the only part of God’s creation caught up in Jesus’ resurrection. I like to call Matthew the Green Gospel because it's the only Gospel that gives us the earth's story along with the Easter story.
This morning our children are going to act out the Christ hymn as I trace out the scenes of Holy Week. Beginning with Palm Sunday, the events of this week tell the story of Jesus emptying himself as he arrives in Jerusalem. He comes prepared to give up everything, including his life on earth, so that we can have life with God.
Think of Lazarus' tomb as a room where you pack up every feeling you own, every memory you have (good and bad), every relationship and every regret, every bit of grace, every ounce of guilt, every pleasure and every pain you have ever known. Pack it all up and put it in the tomb. Take out only those feelings and experiences that give you life and enhance your ability to love. Then prepare to give the rest away, because it has started to smell anyway.