RCL Year B Easter 3
Acts 3:12–19, Psalm 4, I John 3:1–7, Saint Luke 24:16b–48

I saw it last week. An automobile ignored a STOP sign, and, pulling into the intersection of Clay Avenue and Olive Street, executed a U-turn. And, having done that, the car went from whence it came. I find that you can see this commonly these days when once you could not see it. Long before we get to the subject of our society’s regression to the lowest common denominator, we can talk about cutting corners, putting self first, and not taking the time or making the effort to do what is right.

And, meditating on these things, I read today’s Epistle, finding, “Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.”[1]

As great a mystery as the resurrection is, the resurrection is no greater mystery than what this short verse tells us about God. Because the Word became Flesh, because the Son of God became one of us, whenever we do what is right, we become righteous, as the resurrected Lord is righteous.

We could not glimpse this truth without the resurrection or without the Scriptures to guide us. For the resurrection and the Scriptures open to us a world, a realm, and a kingdom, beyond our five human senses. We cannot see it or taste it as if it were ice cream. But that world, that realm, that kingdom is there, just beyond the limitation of our senses and just beyond the limitation of our humanity. Jesus and the Scriptures have revealed it to us. Any full description of human experience must include it. The big picture includes it.

All of which brings me to the subject of our activities today. We are using water and oil, and bread and wine, to walk through the looking glass and to enter that world, that realm, and that kingdom. We use those physical things to go beyond our senses, because the Lord designated them for that purpose. We are “watering a baby,” as some like to say, and we are celebrating the Eucharist. We are presenting that baby to that kingdom and to the Lord of that kingdom, because the Lord has told us to do it, and doing it makes the baby belong to the Lord for ever.

The Lord is never further away than the water and the oil, never more remote than the bread and the wine. But today’s Epistle deepens even those mysteries. The Lord is even closer than that. We are with him just by doing what is right. We can find him, we can discover him, standing next to us, just by doing what is right. This is what we believe. And this is what we pray to hand on to Lucas Todd Whittaker. May he grow, and may we all grow, into “the measure of the full stature of Christ.”[2]

[1] I John 3:7b.

[2] Ephesians 4:13.