“The last enemy to be destroyed is death,” Paul writes. Today Christ is risen, and we gather together with astonishment and joy. Christ is risen, and we have been set free from the bonds of death. Christ is risen, and we are forgiven. Christ is risen, and with the women at the tomb and Peter, we are amazed. Let us rejoice: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
First Reading: Acts 10:34-43
Peter’s sermon, delivered at the home of Cornelius, a Roman army officer, is a summary of the essential message of Christianity: Everyone who believes in Jesus, whose life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the words of the prophets, receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24)
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Paul describes the consequences of the resurrection, including the promise of new life in Christ to a world that has been in bondage to death. He celebrates the destruction of evil and the establishment of God’s victorious rule over all.
Gospel: Luke 24:1-12
Evidently expecting to find Jesus’ corpse, some of the women among his followers go to the tomb with embalming spices. After a perplexing encounter with the empty tomb and angelic visitors, the women become the first to proclaim the amazing news of resurrection.
The Day, the Day
What is Easter anyway? Christians consider Easter to be the “first day.” From Easter comes the practice of worshiping on Sunday morning. It is the first day of the week. It is also the first day of new creation, sometimes called the “eighth day” of the week, for on it Christ restored the image of God in the human and in so doing also brought restoration and renewal to all of creation. The Easter season proceeds from and celebrates this first day. In the resurrected Christ, there is time after the end, life after death, restoration of what was broken, the brightening of what had gone dark. In the fifty days of Easter, Christian communities around the world strive to worship God in a way that illustrates that the body of Christ lives now in the heavenly places and also in the gathered body in the world. Worship is where heaven and earth meet.