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The Passion of the Christ

by Mary C. Earle

The Miracles Within
God Turns Anxiety to Faith; Anger to Hope; Fear to Love
by Lowell E. Grisham

The Journey of Faith



Easter Silence!

by The Rev. Dr. Douglass Bailey

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.—Mark 16:8

That's the way the Easter story closes in Mark's Gospel, the first and oldest Gospel, appointed to be read for Easter, 2000. "They said nothing." There is only silence. Easter silence.

After thirty five years in parish ministry one would think that I should have something to write about when Easter comes around. But the honest truth is, as I write this, my hand trembles for fear you will not understand that I do not know how to write or preach about Easter. It is too much! It is God's most outrageous, unbelievable action. Life walks out of death. Does it not take your breath and words away? As in Mark's Gospel, maybe we Easter 2000 disciples should flee to our churches, our empty tombs, and sit for an hour in silence.

Fat chance of that, I know. No choirs and trumpets. No hymns and alleluias. No sermons and sacraments. No "He is risen!" and the corresponding response: "The Lord is risen indeed." Just silence. An hour of uncomfortable silence. Pondering a dead Jesus - and God's radical message about him . . . "You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Go tell his disciples that he is going ahead of you ..."

Without a word, we would then run from our Easter worship into our contemporary Mondays and Tuesdays, etc. Not a word from our lips. No talking the talk. Only walking the walk. Easter silence! Easter life!

It is worth a silent thought. Blessed Easter.


This article first appeared April 23, 2000 in THE CHRONICLE, the newsletter of Calvary Episcopal Church, Memphis, Tennessee.


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