May 23, 2013
Come to the Who We Are section to find out what we're all about!
If you're curious about what a truly nurturing community of believers is like, then we welcome you to come visit us. First time visitors.
Lyndale Church is in a partnership with Salem Lutheran and First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, owning together and sharing space in Salem's beautiful limestone sanctuary at 610 W. 28th St. Lyndale and Salem moved in December 21, 2001. First Christian January 15, 2012. We'll rotate about every 3 months through the three different sanctuaries. Check here for pictures of the construction.
IN THE NEWS
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What is UCC?
Find out about the United Church of Christ and the history of this wonderful organization on our What is UCC page.
Easter People in a Good Friday World
The Easter Sermon preached by Don Portwood on April 12, 2009 as Lyndale Church worshiped for the first time (without Salem Church) in our new meeting space at Intermedia Arts.
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the
entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.
As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them,
“Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”
So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
The sun had risen, slowly like something was holding it back. The women had gathered even earlier with the spices they needed to anoint the body. Someone had to do it. The men had all fled or gone into hiding. But those women were already thinking ahead. Wondering how in heavens name they would move that stone from the entrance to the tomb. Could they do it together…would they need others…or a pole and lever to get it moved.
Perhaps it was the early rays of that sun crawling slowly above the eastern horizon that illuminated the tomb…and the stone…now rolled back. And inside - in the cool, dank, shadowed cave…not the body of the one they loved…not the body of the one they had learned from, followed, seen die a horrible death, removed from the cross…not Jesus…..but a young man in a white robe…sitting on the right side of the tomb.
“Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you”.
So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Happy Easter to you too. That’s how Mark’s gospel ends. That’s our Easter story for this morning. Why would Mark leave that ending in there? His gospel was written years after that Easter morning. Was the end of the scroll worn off and lost…so that a second century writer added the ending that no one thinks is original.
Does verse 8 end or begin the story?
What a great Bulletin Cover.
No appearance in this story…just an announcement. Now What? What happens? What do we do? What should we think?
Based on what those women had experienced the week before, seeing Jesus betrayed, arrested…and killed by the religious and political powers dominating their land at the time, they had every reason to fear for themselves, for what in heaven’s name was going on…and run…run in terror and run in wonder…and remain silent.
But our vantage point is 2000 years later…we know verse 8 begins the story or at least continues it. We’ve read and experienced…known intellectually and at a deep body level what this story is trying to tell.
That it took a while for people to experience Jesus’ resurrection. We’ve been raised on this story…seen it happen in people around us, lived through crucifixion and resurrection ourselves. Life over death. The tomb was empty…Jesus present with them in a way they could only explain through the metaphors of their day…resurrection. Jesus is risen!
And through the language of their day…Jesus is Lord..not Caesar, not the emperor or queen or president or governor. Jesus is Lord. That’s a radical political confession.
And love is stronger than death, justice stronger than injustice …the arc of history bends toward justice and we know whose finger is pressing on the arc. The good Friday crucifixion of Jesus, the domination powers of religion and government – all the crucifixions of oppression and disease, violence and injustice --all are now seen through new eyes…vindicated by the God of love and compassion…they are not the final word.
Those women, silent on that first day of the week, remained silent no longer and with that small band of followers of Jesus…transformed themselves and transformed their world – for over the next days and weeks and months, they discovered in a new way that Love is stronger than death.
That the one who was crucified, was still present with them, providing courage in the struggle for justice and peace…his presence in trial and rejoicing – and eternal life in his realm which has no end....alleluia!
What a great bulletin cover. How appropriate for us to. We’ve had a 5-6 year goal/dream/plan to be free of the building that had been our home for 85 years on 31st & Aldrich. Lovely, but unsustainable. Beautiful, but always grabbing our energy..and sucking it into tuckpointing, replacing the roof, windows, boiler, parking lot, fuel.
Now what for Lyndale Church...our second Sunday in this building...our first Sunday worshiping by ourselves. Now What?
Yesterday I received an email – a poem really from Doug Malchow, who headed up the move out of the building. Joyce led the organization of our history materials. They spent the last 3 months almost living at old Lyndale. I didn’t ask for permission to read the email…because Joyce wanted a surprise on Easter..and this might be it.
9:44 Saturday morning--Doug and Joyce are sitting at the table eating hot-crossed buns and mango.
The car is still in the garage and not packed with boxes and tools.
The computer is not spitting out a new inventory list.
The cell phone is not turned on!
Joyce is calm!
Doug is calm!
Is it really done??
OK so what do we do on a "free" Saturday.
And so we will - reprogram, rethink. Aware that at times of huge change like leaving that building - our tendency (like those women at the tomb in Mark’s story) - is to run away in fear and keep silent. But we also know that something bigger is moving us, calling us, challenging and loving us.
Moving us courageously into life and death…into the tomb and the injustice….into the Good Friday worlds we all live in, worlds with death of loved ones and disease, injustice and inequality, homelessness and violence, war and inhumane immigration policies. Where life is not fair, hearts are broken and lives are shattered.
Reprogram and rethink….that’s what we’re always called to do as the church of Jesus Christ. That’s what we’ve been doing for 125 years as Lyndale Church in the Lyn/Lake neighborhood.
But we do it from our perspective as Easter People…people on this side of the resurrection – who know that death/oppression/injustice are not the final word. That Jesus lives, life reigns, love is stronger than fear or death or oppression.
We can’t be quiet, say nothing to anyone. We have a story to tell and too many people are looking for a church that tells it the way we do. We have no big building on 31st & Aldrich with signs out front saying we are Open and Affirming and a Just Peace Church any more, that we favor marriage equality and want more Iowas and Vermonts. We can not be quiet. There is too much work that needs to be done to transform our selves and our world. We cannot be silent. The only way people will find out we’re worshiping here on Sunday mornings is the internet. And YOU. You saying something about this faithful little band of followers meeting in the building at 2822 Lyndale with the murals and graffiti until our new space is ready at 28th & Lyndale.
You might mention to them that the front of the building has a resurrection scene on it…designed by the kids and teachers from Waite House Neighbor Center who were on the 35 W bridge on August 1, 2007 that fell into the Mississippi River. “Build bridges”, it says, “not fences”. We’re sharing space with other people who are practicing resurrection…using art for healing and breaking down the walls that divide us.
There are Easter people on the loose….be of good courage. Death/oppression/injustice is not the final word. Emmanuel, God is with us. Life reigns. Love is stronger. It’s a new day. Everyday is a new day. Practice Resurrection.