A Parish of the Diocese of East Carolina

The Rt. Reverend Robert Skirving, Bishop
Fr. Gerald Blackburn, Priest
2602 West Broad Street | P.O Box 1841 Elizabethtown, NC 28337
Sunday at 10:30 AM

Fr. Blackburn's
Readings & Meditations

WARNING: Easter Can Be Hazardous to Your Priorities     BY FR. BLACKBURN

Once again here in eastern North Carolina the celebration of Easter began just as spring-time was moving into full swing with flowers blooming, trees budding and new leaves “clothing” the naked tree limbs of winter. 

            Easter is a joyous season which began this year on Easter Sunday, April 16, and continues through all of May with Ascension Day (Thursday, May 25) and the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 28, just prior to the celebration of Pentecost Day, Sunday, June 4th.

            Frank Wade, my mentor-priest friend, once said something that sticks with me this time of the year.  He said, “Easter is full of life and warm fuzzy feelings.  It’s a happy time, as it well should be.  But there are forces in Easter that have not been tamed by familiarity.”

            With a satirical twinkle in his eye Wade went on to say that “if you let yourself get too close to the power of Easter; if you pause too long in front of that empty tomb, that power can mess up your mind and change the way you see and live your life!  I think we should put up a notice in the church bulletin that reads —“Warning: Easter can be hazardous to your priorities.”

            What are the dangerous qualities of Easter?  Back when atomic energy was being harnessed, Albert Einstein said that it changed everything except the way people think.  In other words, atomic energy revealed an amazing new truth about the universe, but very few people incorporated that truth into their thinking.

            Easter is a similar kind of revelation and we too often have a similar lack of thought about the implications of the empty tomb; the resurrection of Our Lord.  That is, if the Easter story is true then Jesus is really what people say he is  — that he is indeed the Son of God and also the voice of God.  That means the teachings of Jesus are true; His way is the way of real life.
And all this means that Easter can indeed be hazardous to our life priorities.  For example, the teachings of Jesus lead us to consider the way we respond to life’s dark side as well as the joy,  life’s challenges, life’s hardness including
            - that bully at school that aggravates and scares you;
            - that “twit” at work who tried to do you in;
            - that neighbor who knows how to push your buttons

            If the Easter story is true; if indeed Jesus is the resurrected Son of God and his teachings are the Voice of God, it means, as Wade puts it, “that looking out for Number One is still important, except you and I are not Number One — Jesus is — and that we are loved and accepted by Number One, and that changes everything.”

            And one more thing:  The Easter story, the empty tomb, changes the way we look at death.  Again, Frank Wade nails it:  “Probably all of us have heard people say: ‘Life is short, death is forever, so make every moment in life count.”  And often what they mean by that is:  Work hard, make all the money you can, live hard and fill your life full  of every pleasure your heart desires.  Take care of You because, after all, you are number one and life is short, death is forever.

            But the Easter story — the empty tomb, the resurrected Christ —  turns that selfish thinking upside down!  Easter proclaims that “life is forever and death is short.” 

            From the Easter perspective, life will be much more real, hope-filled and joyous through the dark, difficult days as well as through the bright days!   Happy Easter!!


Saint Christopher’s welcomes you to worship with us
on Sundays at 10:30 AM

If you have pastoral concerns, you may contact
Father Gerry Blackburn at (910) 232-9725