The Great Vigil of Easter – The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh

The Great Vigil of Easter: Saturday, March 26, 2016

Genesis 1:1-2:4a [The Story of Creation] | Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18, 8:6-18, 9:8-13 [The Flood]  | Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 [Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea] | Ezekiel 37:1-14 [The valley of dry bones] | Romans 6:3-11  | Psalm 114 | Luke 24:1-12

Preacher: The Rev. Leigh Mackintosh, Associate Rector of St. Michael’s Church

Where has the starlight gone?
Dark is the day
How can I find my way home?

Home is an empty dream
Lost to the night
Father, I feel so alone

You promised you’d be there
Whenever I needed you
Whenever I call your name
You’re not anywhere

I’m trying to hold on
Just waiting to hear your voice
One word, just a word will do
To end this nightmare *

Can you the hear voice of Jesus singing?

This is the song of the savior hanging silently on a cross watched by deaf ears. The song driven from this world slowly, painfully as nails in a cross.

The song echoing silently in the cold dark tomb; the song hidden in the beautiful body of Jesus—a body brutally marred by human hands. The song that descends to the depths of eternal death and despair.

Where has the savior’s song gone?

Listen…can you hear it echoing across time?

We’ve heard it before. We heard it in the beginning, when the voice hovered over the dark waters of the earth; forth from chaos God called the light into being singing:

Arise, shine for your light has come
and the glory of God has dawned upon you!

And God created the earth and its creatures  and made us in his beautiful and sacred image; God lovingly sang us into being, blessed us and called the whole of his Creation good.

When Creation had fallen into evil and death, God called forth the great flood to cleanse the earth. For forty days and forty nights, all Creation was shrouded in darkness, sealed in a watery tomb. All were destroyed except one righteous man.

Beneath the shadowy refuge of the ark, Noah’s song soared across the dark and stormy seas until a dove answered his call piercing the night of death and destruction with its own song of new hope, new life and new creation under the dawn of a rainbow. And when God’s people were suffering and dying as slaves in Egypt, Moses heard God’s song in the burning bush and returned to set his people free.

Fleeing Pharaoh’s forces beneath a starless sky, Moses stretched out his hand and the waters of the Red Sea parted Once again Savior’s song led Israel out of their long, dark night into the dawn of freedom and new life in the Promised Land.

And in the valley of dry bones where despair and death loom over us choking the life out of us, the good news of God’s salvation joyfully calls us to rise up and join the dance—
to receive the breath of life that sings in our souls renewing our spirits and releasing us from the grave.

This is the savior’s song that generations have heard across all time.
This is the song that does not end with the silence of the tomb.
This is the song that arises on this holiest of nights.

Listen, can you hear the voice of God rising from the depths of darkness and death?

Listen can you hear the Savior’s song bursting forth from the tomb!

The song that sings ‘this is the night when all endless nights must end.’ This is the night when the Son will rise, when we will once again hear his voice singing deep inside: this is the night of the savior’s song: the holy night that heralds the dawn of the Son’s resurrection. This is the night when the song of the Son will rise!

This is the night when we join the Savior’s song. Let me show you the words.

I know that the night must end,
and that the Son will rise;
and that the Son will rise.

I know
Yes, I know
The sun will rise
Yes, I know
I know
The clouds must clear

I know that the night must end
I know that the sun will rise
And I’ll hear your voice deep inside

I know that the night must end
And that the clouds must clear
The sun
The sun will rise
The sun
The sun will rise*

* from The Lion King, Lyrics by Julie Taymor