St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church

Vancouver, B.C.

Phone: 604-877-1789

E-mail: office@stmarymags.ca

Office hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10:30 am - 1 pm

The Anglican Parish of St. Mary Magdalene

2950 Laurel Street at West 14th Avenue

Vancouver, BC, V5Z  3T3

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Worship Times

Sunday Eucharist

10:30 am


Contemplative

Eucharist

Wednesday 7:00 pm


Diocese of New Westminster Anglican Church of Canada

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Sermon

April 20th Easter Vigil 2019           John Marsh



This is a night of stories, of stories within stories…


Our story intertwined with past stories, present stories, future stories, stories in which the prose of the present is disrupted by the poetry of worlds to come…


Stories welling up, stories pressing in, stories luring…


Stories intertwined with life and death, stories expressing inherited hurts, dreaming dreams, embodying prophetic hope’s, wisdom’s lure…


Stories personal, interpersonal, cultural…


Stories ofttimes named as sacred, expressing a holiness perhaps named as god…


(Pausing to clarify…


By story, I by no means wish to disrespect, to disrespect Christian traditions, although, truth to tell, I may wish to disrupt the traditions, hoping that the interruption gives us pause, time to pray…


By story, I am suggesting that life reflected upon, life communicated, is but story in one form or another…


By story I am suggesting a poetics by which I mean a collection of narratives, allegories, metaphors, songs, poems and parables, those rhetorical and narrative strategies summoned to address an event, addressing being spooked, haunted by time¹


By story, I wish to respect life -  imagined life, considered life - astir within story, respecting events and experiences stirring within orthodoxies, traditions, worship and song forms, the faith, hope and love of those faithful throughout the ages, those whose lives perhaps lay claim to us…


So, with stories told and retold, with respect luring us onward, let us continue…)


This is a night of resurrection, a night of the resurrection story…


This is a night of story in which something is going on within and under resurrection…


This is a night of resurrection, which is to say this is a night of a story of life, of life facing death, embracing death, of laying claim that, perhaps, love and justice, faith and hope are not defeated by death, although we may be and, if so, faith falters, hope is hollowed, love and justice diminish…


This is a night of honesty, recognizing that from a theo-poetic perspective the forces of death are other than the cessation of breath…


In the face of the forces of death – violence, betrayal, conspiracy and complacency - resurrection is an insurrection, a refusal to stay put, refusals to rest content with tombs of time, the empty tomb less proof of ‘the bodily resurrection of Jesus’ than a lure of life’s promise and passion, empty tombs more the draw of life, the impossible possibility of hope, of human creativity making ways out of no ways, of resilience risking life’s draw in which that which we name as god is, perhaps, astir…


Perhaps, if the stories of the resurrection of Jesus are a literalizing of life’s experience, resurrection is better understood as a metaphor luring life amid death…


Is this not madness?


Jesus lives…


Is this not madness?


To take a risk on god, to take a risk on life…


Is this not madness?


Resurrection is a call, a call of life…


If resurrection is life’s insistence…


It is up to us to supply resurrection’s existence…


Is this not madness?


Perhaps, just perhaps…




 ¹See John Caputo, The Folly of God: A Theology of the Unconditional, p.94