This is what resurrection looks like

Our Second reading this morningfalls squarely in the center of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians.

It forms a hinge in the book. Paul has spent the first two chapters explaining just how important Jesus Christ is.

Christ is not just the savior of a particular group of people, or the leader of a moral reform movement.

The Risen Christ has been exalted by God to heaven- And as such- Is the centerpoint of God’s loving intention To redeem the entire creation.

“For God was pleased,” Writes Paul “to have all the divine fullness dwell in Christ, And through Christ To reconcile all things, Whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace Through the blood shed on the Cross.”

We too stand at that center point this Easter morning, as we look over this past Holy Week.

With Paul, we see what the world has done to Christ. We have seen How Christ was tortured and killed Because he dared to proclaim and live god’s love For all people without exception.

But praise God, That is not the end.

For this morning we stand also at the beginning of a new creation- a world resurrected with Christ in love in compassion and in joy.

Indeed, As Paul says, In a very real sense We have died with Christ- And now live with Christ in God.

What does that new life look like?

Paul spends the rest of his letter to the Colossians Unpacking that.

Living the life hid in Christ with God Is not an academic exercise or a religious performance.

Paul goes straight to the heart of the matter when he says-

“Cloth yourselves with Christ, Put on the new clothes of compassion, Kindness, Gentleness and patience.”

In your homes, With your husbands, Wives, children, parents. He says.

In your work and in your play, In your interactions with everyone- Not just church people, But friends, neighbors, community.

Here is where our risen life is lived.

Indeed, It is hidden in Christ with God…… But leavening every single moment of our days with the Love that sent Christ to the Cross and also raised him from death.

No one stood more solidly at this intersection than Archbishop and Martyr Oscar Romero.

In El Salvador, he walked among the people and spoke out loudly against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture.

In the bright morning sunlight of March 24 1980, two weeks before Easter, a car stopped outside the Church of the Divine Providence in San Salvador while Archbishop Romero was saying Mass.

A lone gunman stepped out, unhurried. Resting his rifle on the car door, he aimed carefully down the long aisle to where Romero was saying mass. A single shot rang out.

The gunman was never found.

But the motive for this assassination was clear. Romero was the most outspoken voice Then raised against the death squad slaughter That was going on in his own diocese.

The ranks of El Salvador's leftwing rebels were being swelled by priests who preached that the poor should seek justice in this world, not wait for the next.

Romero was the "voice of those without voice", telling soldiers not to kill.

Oscar Romero died as he lived, As we live, By standing squarely at the Intersection Where death and new life meet, Where the forces of evil and hate, Fall and fail again the awesome power of love.

Here is what Archbisop Romero wrote.

“We live in a time of struggle between truth and lies, between sincerity, which almost no one believes in still, and hypocrisy and intrigue.

Let’s not be afraid, brothers and sisters; let’s try to be sincere, to love truth;

let’s try to model ourselves on Christ Jesus.

It is time for us to have a great sense of selection, of discernment.”

Indeed, This is the time. This is the day. This is what Resurrection looks like. Amen.

SermonRev. Phil Boelter