Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Friday, April 07, 2023

Easter Day - Rector's Rambling for April 9, 2023

 Alleluia!  Christ is Risen!

   The Lord is Risen Indeed!   Alleluia!

    After a long Lent of looking at our sins, and being reminded of God’s mercy and forgiveness, we come to the big day!   Jesus Christ, having been sacrificed on the Cross for our sins has now risen from the dead!  We rejoice with resounding Alleluia and celebration.

Sunday after Sunday, we look at the remarkable super-reredos in the church, that wonderful mosaic high above the altar, and see it for its beauty and artistic merit.  But more than that, it is a weekly reminder of today’s celebration.  There, recorded for us in gold leaf and colored stones is a mosaic re-creation of Ella Condi Lamb’s painting depicting the angel of the Lord greeting the three Mary’s who went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus.

But instead of finding Jesus, they came upon an empty tomb.  According to St. Matthew,

“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:2–6)

This wonderful depiction shows the angel resplendently arrayed, and the three women in surprise and awe.  In the hands of one of them is a container, and at the foot of another a jar, containing the spices to anoint the body of Jesus.  He had been hastily put in the tomb because he died at the opening of the high Sabbath day when bodies could not be properly prepared.

Their last act of love and responsibility was instead met with surprise and yes, awesome joy to the words of the angel, “he is risen, as he said.”

May we, in the weeks and months to come, look on this wonderful sight above the altar and be reminded of this grand day, and rejoice with them that Jesus is risen!