Easter and the Clown
(As the service is about to begin a clown appears and holds up the service by squirting the children with water. Then he runs away*In place of a clown, the preacher could produce a daffodil and eats the flower. Same lesson.)
If you were to go home and tell your friends and your family that a clown* marched into this church this morning and squirted water at the children, just when we were about to hear the sermon, they would probably not believe you!
People wouldn’t believe Jesus’ disciples either when they told them he had risen from the dead.
First some women who were friends of Jesus came to his tomb, and the stone had been rolled away. Angels told them Jesus wasn’t there, he had risen. The disciples didn’t believe the women!
One of the ladies, Mary Magdalene, actually met Jesus and talked with him, thinking it was the gardener. They didn’t believe her either! That is until some of them ran to the tomb and saw for themselves that the tomb was empty.
Jesus then appeared to his disciples in an upper room, and they all believed Jesus had indeed risen from the grave, but because Thomas wasn’t there, he didn’t believe them. ‘Not unless I see for myself!’ was his response.
Then Jesus appeared to him, and even told him to touch the holes in his hands. So he too believed.
When St Paul writes his accounts of the resurrection appearances, he says that Jesus at one point appeared to more than 500 people at the same time! This was no hallucination!
Seeds of doubt The rumours soon spread, and the Jewish authorities who were concerned about these rumours, immediately sought a way to sow seeds of doubt in people’s minds to persuade them that this was all a hoax.
It says in Matthew’s gospel, Some of the guards went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, ‘You must say, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep” If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’
Seeds of doubt today.
It’s the same today in much of the literature written about Jesus Christ; in films that try to persuade us that it was all a hoax. The opposition still goes on, and the money rolls in. There will always be some people who believe and some who will not.
So many different stories!
It’s also worth noting that many of you who did indeed see the clown* this morning will go and tell different tales. One will say he wore a multi-coloured waistcoat…..Another will say he squirted water at the children….Another may say he wore huge boots!
This happened as people recalled the resurrection of Jesus.
Some claimed there were two angels, others one; some talk of more than one woman going to the tomb, some mention only Mary’s experience..and so on… but the very fact that their stories were different and not identical leads us to believe that their stories were indeed true, and not invented.
HOWEVER DIFFERENT THEIR STORIES WERE THEY ALL AGREE ON THIS ONE ESSENTIAL TRUTH. JESUS WAS ALIVE!
And the one essential truth we will all bear witness to is the fact that a clown* did disrupt our service this morning. The fact that our stories are different will show that our story is true.
When we tell this tale, to our great great grandchildren. The story will all differ through time, but the pure fact will remain, that something different and unusual did happen in this church today!
As it did then!
Russian crowd…Communist leaders persuading people it was all a hoax. Priest begged to say couple of words. He is Risen! CROWD RESPONSE: He is Risen indeed Hallelujah!