Years ago, we had a tradition in a church I served, of taking down the Stations of the Cross in the nave on Holy Saturday before we set up for the Easter Vigil. It always struck me, looking at the walls where they had been, how plain the room looked in their absence. I mentioned that to the director of Children’s Education and the next year she surprised me with festive Stations of the Cross that were created by the parish children, and she hung them on the wall on Easter Day in place of the Lenten versions we’d been using.
That raised some questions in the congregation – and it made me stop and think about what message we were sending as we transitioned from the somber and sad images to the same images but now interpreted in a different light. I pondered about it all week and then, when I read the Gospel lesson for the second week of Easter that year, I understood.
God’s new Creation, inaugurated on Easter Day, does not remove the pain of our lives, or heal the scars we carry from it. Easter transforms the scars and puts them into a new context. Jesus’ body in the upper room still bears the wounds of his crucifixion. The bodies of the Saints, as they more fully identify with Jesus also begin to show forth those same wounds. But the wounds become something different because of the Victory of the Cross.
I talk about that and more in this week’s sermon. You can find the direct link to the video here.