As the 2017-18 Senior Student at Wycliffe College, I had the privilege of giving the sermon at the final Eucharist service of the school year. I thought I would share the message for those who weren’t able to make it 🙂
For those of you unfamiliar with Wycliffe, preaching in Founders’ Chapel is a significantly different experience and different community than where and to whom I normally preach. Each Wednesday the community gathers for Eucharist–faculty, students, families, and friends–and usually a visiting bishop or guest speaker delivers the homily. No pressure… right?
Note: the italicized text in square brackets is added just for you online readers.]
Prayer: For the Extension of the Church, Book of Common Prayer, p. 42
Almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give commandment to the Apostles that they should go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature: Grant to us whom thou hast called into thy Church, a ready will to obey thy Word; and fill us with a hearty desire to make thy way known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[It’s important to note that this prayer is from the BCP, an OLD prayer book that Wycliffe uses on alternating months with the Book of Alternative Services (BAS), I like the prayer, but would not ordinarily use this kind of language]
Christ is Risen! (He is risen indeed, Hallelujah!)
[The “Hallelujah!” catches me off guard, as I’m used to simply “He is risen indeed!” A certain faculty member was especially exuberant about the “Hallelujah!” so I laughed with joy, and also asked everyone to be aware that I will expect a couple of responses throughout the message.]
Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). [link to passage]
When Jesus calls her by her name, she immediately knows that it is her Lord.
The Good Shepherd knows his sheep and “calls them by name,” and his sheep “know his voice.”
In one word, spoken by the most significant person Mary Magdalene had ever known, her entire life changed. She became the first person, ever, to experience the personal presence of the Risen Lord.