Hell is Freaking Out because of Easter
April 5, 2016
by Hugo Olaiz
(link is to original text of Saint John Chrysostom’s Easter Sermon) http://anglicansonline.org/special/Easter/chrysostom_easter.html
The Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom: An Updated Version
by Hugo Olaiz and John-Charles Duffy
When we lived in North Carolina, every Easter our vicar the Rev. Lisa Fishbeck would read, during the Great Vigil, John Chrysostom’s famous Easter sermon. One year, we decided to update its language and metaphors. This was the result:
Are you a fan of God? Go on in to the backstage party—no pass required!
Have you been working for the Lord? Call it a day—time for a well-deserved celebration!
A hard day’s work on an empty stomach? Punch out—the Boss is taking us out for dinner!
If you’ve been clocked in since eight this morning—by all means, come and eat.
If you didn’t arrive at work til ten—that’s fine, meet us at the restaurant!
You only worked a half day after lunch? No problem, you’re still invited.
You’ve only been at work since three? Don’t worry about it—you come, too.
You showed up a half hour before closing? Believe me, really, there’s no reason you shouldn’t join us.
That’s how the Lord works: There are no privileges for seniority.
New hires get the same retirement package as those who have been with the firm for years.
The perks flow freely to everyone—the Lord is thrilled just to have you working for him.
And he rewards your intentions, not just your accomplishments.
So join the party, everyone—the Lord’s joy is contagious!
First or last—the same bonus waits for all!
White collar or blue collar—mingle, rub elbows, dance together!
Whether you’ve been hard at work or you’ve been procrastinating—you’re welcome to the party either way.
Whether you fasted or forgot—it doesn’t matter now, the buffet is spread.
Dig in—no one is allowed to leave hungry!
Eat your fill, everyone, at the banquet of faith. Charge whatever you need to God’s corporate account.
Don’t worry about what you lack—the fullness of the kingdom has come among us.
Don’t beat yourself up over your failings—forgiveness has leaped out of the tomb.
Don’t be afraid of death—the death of our Savior has set us free.
He let the Grim Reaper take him—then splintered his scythe into pieces.
He plunged into the underworld—and wreaked havoc!
Hell swallowed him whole—and discovered it had eaten poison!
Isaiah put it nicely: “Poor Hell, what an unpleasant surprise when he popped down to say hello!”
Hell is throwing a fit because it has received notice that it is being shut down.
Hell is blowing its top because it has become a laughingstock.
Hell is freaking out because its mortgage has been foreclosed.
Hell is going ballistic because it has been marked for demolition.
Hell is screaming mad because it is being hauled out of the building in handcuffs.
Hell grabbed what it thought was one more corpse—and found itself in hand-to-hand combat with God.
Hell seized possession of earth—and found itself face-to-face with an insurgency from heaven.
It took the bait, and failed to see the fishing line.
Where’s that creepy knife of yours now, Grim Reaper? And you, Hell—you called the race too soon!
Christ is risen—and you, Death, are entombed!
Christ is risen—and Hell’s goons are knocked flat on their backs!
Christ is risen—and the angels are dancing in the streets!
Christ is risen—and life is walking out of prison!
Christ is risen—and all the graves are empty.
For Christ is only the first to rise; his empty tomb is just the beginning of an abundant harvest.
Glory and power are his forever! Amen!
What parts of these sermons stand out to you? How would you write your own Easter sermon alongside it? What are the truths of Easter you want to preach to a world in need of Jesus’ love? Tag us at #50days and let us know your story!