WHAT A WONDERFUL CHANGE! - SERMON AND REFLECTIONS ON ACTS 10:34-43 AND MARK 16:1-8 BY REV. JOSEPH C. ALSAY, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Reverend Joseph C. Alsay, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
Acts 10:34-43 & Mark 16:1-8
“What a Wonderful Change!”
On first glance, it seems like the gospel of Mark ends rather abruptly! The women have come to the tomb to care for the body of their friend and Lord. They totally expected death. Seeing the stone rolled away, they entered the tomb – they entered into death. They didn’t find Jesus. Instead, they saw a young man dressed in white, who told them not to be amazed, that Jesus had risen. This same stranger told them to tell the disciples and then head to Galilee.
Is it any wonder that terror and amazement seized them?
The Greek word for amazement, “ekstasis,” literally means, “change of place.” And that is what has happened to us and to all of creation because of the resurrection.
There is a gospel song written by Walter Hawkins that simply states,
“A change, a change has come over me.
He changed my life and now I'm free.
He washed away all my sins and he made me whole.
He washed me white as snow.
He changed my life complete and now I sit, I sit at his feet.
To do what must be done I'll work and work until he comes.
A wonderful change has come over me.
A wonderful change has come over me.”
Before Easter, we stood in a place of sin and death. After Easter, we stand in a place of forgiveness and life. Everything is changed.
When I began here at St. Augustine 10 years ago, I was given a plaque that show an old lady speaking at a podium with 6 mics and a bald up first raised in the air. She says, “Change is good. . . as long as I don’t have to do anything different.”
My friends, because of the dynamic and life-changing power of the resurrection, we are not the same. The world is not the same. This new reality of forgiveness, life, and salvation is and should be unsettling. Terror and amazement, indeed!
The world is turned upside down. Or rather right-side up. We have been changed for the better.
~ Fr. Joseph C. Alsay, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
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