This morning I decided to rough out some images to help me illustrate the sweeping story of God’s Promise of Redemption as we read through them tomorrow night at the Easter Vigil. The true Vigil reads through twelve stories and lasts from sundown to sunrise, then concludes with a sunrise baptism service.
We simply do a 5:00pm service and only read four stories. Here are the images with a little bit of commentary. If you would like a ready-to-show PowerPoint of these images, you can download it here. Otherwise, feel free to use these images however you like. Enjoy!
In the beginning the earth was formless and void.
The Spirit of the LORD hovered over the surface of the deep.
The Spirit of God is in the business of bringing order and life out of chaos and death.
God created humanity in God’s own image.
We have been given charge to steward creation and bring forth life. We are created co-creators with God.
Things went badly and humanity created a new form of chaos on the earth.
We loved violence more than life.
Yet, even in our chaos, the Spirit of God brings life. God promised to never destroy everything again.
God made a promise to Abraham to bless his family and bless all nations through them. The children of the Promise found themselves in a new form of chaos and darkness.
They were lost in slavery to the Egyptian Empire. Many times we find ourselves oppressed by powerful systems and we cannot free ourselves.
God used Moses to deliver the children of the Promise through the waters of the Red Sea.
They were instructed to follow the cloud and they were led to freedom.
The children of Promise became a powerful political system themselves, and found themselves in conflict with other nations. The prophet Jonah was called to bring the message of God’s Promise to the people of Nineveh in the Assyrian Empire. He ran the other direction.
Jonah was lost in his stubborn hatred for his enemies. He could not accept that God loved the Assyrians as much as he loved the children of Abraham.
How often are we buried in the tomb of our own stubbornness and hatred.
Jesus allowed himself to be buried in the tomb of violence, oppression and hatred that we continually create and perpetuate.
Then he overpowered the chaos of death and brought the Promise of New Life.
The Spirit of the LORD continually hovers over our chaos, stirring the waters of what may seem hopeless and reminding us of the Promise of God.
The waters of our baptism remind us that God is at work in this world, to bring order out of chaos, to bring life out of death, to rescue us from ourselves.
On Easter we celebrate the victory of this Promise. Amen.