Love Lives Forever

On April 22, 2019, in Sunshine Cathedral, by Rev.Dr. Robert

Love Lives Forever Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Easter 2019 Let us dwell together in peace; and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression. And now, may God’s word be spoken, ay only God’s word be heard. Amen. The tomb was empty…the first resurrection experience was emptiness. No body. No explanation. No […]

Love Lives Forever
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins
Easter 2019

Let us dwell together in peace; and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression. And now, may God’s word be spoken, ay only God’s word be heard. Amen.

The tomb was empty…the first resurrection experience was emptiness. No body. No explanation. No proof. No argument. Just emptiness. Unanswered questions. And an angelic urgency to return to living fully.

Jesus was a friend to the friendless, a healer, a teacher, a conduit through which love flowed (human love and divine love, if there is a difference).
Jesus told people they were lovable.
He loved the unloved, touched the untouchable, affirmed those who had been pushed to the margins.
He loved people into wholeness.
He helped them love themselves, and he encouraged them to share the healing power of love with the world.

When hate and fear came for Jesus, tried to bring him down, vilified him and condemned and killed him, his friends and admirers were devastated.
Some wanted him to be their conquering hero.
But it was he who was vanquished. Betrayed. Arrested. Tried. Convicted of sedition. Finally executed.

But all that love that Jesus preached, demonstrated, shared…that love lives forever. People soon discovered that even after he was killed, they could still love Jesus, and continue to love in his name. They may be feeling some emptiness right now, but love fills the empty spaces, and brings hope and healing. Love lives forever.

Now, some women (Mary, Mary, and Mary) go to visit the body. The first people to experience the hope and the recharge that we call Resurrection were a bunch of Marys…aintathat good news?

The body is gone. Nothing has worked out as expected.
But he’s still with us, somehow. He still wants us to heal the hurting and offer hope to the hopeless and encourage the lonely and speak truth to power and resist injustice.
That’s what got him killed, but love gives even when there is risk involved. And we if are to love, we will have to take some risks. And somehow, the Marys, and the disciples, and you and I feel the strength of his love urging us to love in ways that threaten domination systems with the possibility of radical healing, restorative justice, and divine peace.

Even with all that’s gone wrong, we know that he wants us to go on to Galilee, to keep moving forward; he wants us to be, as he was, divine love in action. Because, as it turns out, love lives forever.

Go to Galilee the Marys are told. Get back into life.
Easter raises them from their funk so that they can share the message that God is all-inclusive, unconditional, everlasting love.

And you get that angels give the women a message to share …women are called to proclaim good news. Luckily the angel didn’t stop to ask if the institution ordained women. The angel just said, ladies, I need you to share your story.

Love wouldn’t leave women out. Love wouldn’t leave same-gender loving people out. Love wouldn’t leave gender non-conforming people out. Love wouldn’t leave people from various traditions and cultures out. Love includes all and Love lives forever.

When I was in seminary, my grandmother died. I was very close to my grandmother. Many nights during that year of grieving, I would go to a small chapel at the seminary. It was an empty, tomblike space. I could cry there. Feel all my feelings, no matter how messy they got. I could speak to my grandmother. Her body died, my love for her didn’t, nor did hers for me. I would ask God to heal my heart, but not too quickly. The loss was too deep…I couldn’t imagine the pain leaving all at once…it had to heal by degrees. I just wanted a presence to be with me in the pain, and to help me move through it in the way that I could.

Thank God for that empty chapel, and those empty hours. How healing they were. They led to new life. Nothing would ever be the same, but so much would still be very good. The progression was Heartache. Emptiness. Resurrection. New life. Alleluia.

In that chapel I experienced resurrection. Priest and poet John Bannister Tabb wrote:
“Out of the dusk a shadow, then a spark.
Out of the cloud a silence, then a lark.
Out of the heart a rapture, then a pain.
Out of the dead, cold ashes, life again.”

Easter for me isn’t about proving something happened once upon a time. Easter, for me is a reminder that love will not let us go, and because of that, new life is always possible. We will experience emptiness, but even in the emptiness there is a sustaining presence and it will lead us to new life.

The past is past and the future has infinite possibilities…that’s Resurrection.

Anyone who has found sobriety,

Anyone who has moved through grief,

anyone who has survived abuse and thrived in spite of it,

anyone who has been demonized or dehumanized because of where they are from or who they love or how they pray or how they identify in their bodies – but who insist on affirming their own sacred value,

anyone who has fallen but somehow has managed to get back up knows that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. That’s resurrection power. And it can lift you up today.

Have you ever faced difficulty, and afterward, felt an emptiness? There are angels today encouraging you to embrace life fully, to keep loving, to keep sharing…you’ll encounter something divine along the way. Head toward Galilee…there is a miracle or two for you just ahead.

The emptiness of the tomb, the emptiness of any experience isn’t the end of the story, it’s the first hint of resurrection. There’s more to come. Don’t give up yet because Love lives forever; that’s the message of Easter and this is the good news. Amen.

Love lives forever.
Love embraces me forever.
Love renews me today.
Alleluia!
Amen.

Comments are closed.



Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can
take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...