Seek Ye First, An Easter Sermon


Easter B, 2015
Seek Ye First

Her hair is shockingly pink and her nose pierced.  She pulls the mop bucket behind her.  Some mess or another.  The coffee to be poured, the tables to be wiped.  Laughing and smiling at the customers, she knows the regulars.  

And, as she passes the coffee shop counter where I type my Easter sermon, I look up.  

And, notice,

the tattoo on her arm.  

Seek ye first.  

Matthew, 6:33.  “Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

You may know the hymn.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his rightousness, and all these things will be added unto you.  Allelu, Alleluia!  

And, so seeking, I turn back to the text and to Mary Magdalene.    

She went to the garden.  Early on the first day of the week.  She went to the garden and saw that the stone had been removed.  She went to the garden.

Seeking.

They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid him.  

And, thus, forsaken.  

She is drawn ever closer to the God who had died for love.  

Seek ye first.  

And, in the garden. The garden that was first and at the last. The garden carefully tended by the gardener of all creation.  She supposes him the gardener...fitting in that the gardener who is the creator is our God.

And, as she faced him, she wept, having lost all she came to find.  

“Why are you weeping?”

Why does anyone weep at the grave? 

Sorrow. Anger. Brokenness. Devastation.

Her search continues.
Tell me where you have laid him.

Tell me.  

Tell me.

And, so he does.  

The telling is in the sound of his voice saying her name.

Mary.

Mary.

And, all these things are added.

And in seeking she has found the risen God.

And, the risen God has found her.

It is striking to me, that it is when Jesus who is God (who is the Son of Man, who is her friend, who is her hope) names her, that she sees him for who he is.

In her naming that there is recognition.

And, she proclaims him.

Rabbouni, teacher.  And, the teacher is found and the teacher sends her forth...go to my brothers.

Seek ye first, my friends, those who sorrow, those who fear, those who tremble alone.

And in seeking, they they will find.  

And, in the finding there will be healing--  

The kingdom. New life. Hope. A future. Community. Possibility.


Seek them out and tell them. Proclaim my name to the world.

And, when my name is proclaimed the world shall know.

Seeking and proclaiming.  

Proclaiming the love we have found to the world that still trembles in fear.  

Seeking and proclaiming. 

Proclaiming the hope that has come to the world that longs for the good news.  

Seeking and proclaiming.

He has called our name.  And we proclaim his in return.

Teacher, friend, savior, son of God and brother to us all.     

So, on this Easter morning we gather and proclaim the one whom we have found.  On this Easter morning, we return to the garden to seek the one who has called our name.  

And, the one who calls our name, is here.  And the one who calls our name is out there.  And the one who calls our name dwells in us and we in him.

Seek and ye shall find.  

Children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown tells the story of a little bunny who tries to run away from his mother.  His mother replies, “If you run away, I will run after you.
For you are my little bunny.”

The little bunny devises cleverer and cleverer means of escape...

“If you run after me,” said the little bunny,
“I will become a fish in a trout stream 
and I will swim away from you.”

“If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said his mother,
“I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”

“If you become a fisherman,” said the little bunny,
“I will become a rock on the mountain, high above you.”

“If you become a rock on the mountain high above me,”
said his mother, “I will become a mountain climber,
and I will climb to where you are.”

“If you become a mountain climber,”
said the little bunny,
“I will be a crocus in a hidden garden.”

“If you become a crocus in a hidden garden,”
said his mother, “I will be a gardener. And I will find you.”

And this is the truth, that the gardener has found us. The gardener in the garden, which is all of creation, has found us and we have found the gardener.   

Seek ye first.

We have been found.  

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