April 21, 2019


Acts 10: 34-43; Psalm 118; 1 Corinthians 15: 19-26; John 20: 1-18

The Rev. James M.L. Grace


In the Name of God: Father, Son, And Holy Spirit.  AMEN.

            In the words of St. Augustine, “we are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our cry.”  How good it feels to say “Alleluia” on this beautiful Easter day.  We are surrounded by flowers, the Paschal candle is lit, Christ’s resurrection is proclaimed joyfully on this day.  How precious this day of resurrection is, and yet, how easy it is to discard such a precious, beautiful, sought-after gift when this day is done.

            I will share with you an old story about a valuable stone, called a “touchstone” that was rumored to be somewhere along the coast of the Black Sea.  If one ever was to find this stone, you would know it immediately because of its warmth.  Any other stone you might find would feel could to the touch, but when you found the touchstone, it would warm your hand. 

            Rumor was that whoever found this stone would be able to turn anything they wanted into pure gold.  A man heard this rumor and sold everything he had and went to the coast of the Black Sea in search of the touchstone.  He began immediately to walk along the shoreline, picking up one stone after another in his diligent and intentional search.

            He was consumed with this dream of holding such a treasure in his hand.  However, after several days of fruitless searching, he realized he was just picking up the same stones again and again.  So he came up with a plan: he would pick up a stone.  If the stone was cold, the man, in his disappointment would throw the stone into the sea.  This he did for weeks and weeks.

            Then one morning he wearily went out to continue his search for the touchstone.  He picked up a stone.  It was cold, so he threw it into the sea.  He picked up another – stone cold.  He kept picking up stone after stone, feeling their coolness, and throwing them into the sea.  Finally he picked up another, and the stone turned warm in his hand, and before he realized a miracle had occurred, he threw the touchstone into the sea, where it sunk deep to the bottom of the sea, never to be found.       

            I would suggest that in the miracle of Easter, we have stumbled upon a mystery of inestimable value.  We hold this Easter mystery in our hand, like the man held the touchstone.   We may not have the power to change things to gold, but we have something much more valuable.  We have hope.  Don’t waste it.  Don’t throw Easter hope away like the man threw the touchstone out into the ocean.  Hold onto this Easter hope.  It will warm your hand.  It will change your life. 

            “We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our cry”

            Alleulia.  The Lord is Risen.

            The Lord is Risen indeed.  Alleluia.  AMEN.