Second Sunday in Easter, Year C
April 22, 2001
Old St. Paul’s, Baltimore
The Rev. Timothy E. Schenck
One of the great miracles of modern science must be the “Peep.” If you came within arm’s length of an Easter basket this past week you probably know what I’m talking about. Peeps are those chick-shaped novelty marshmallow treats that have for some reason become forever associated with Easter in America. Now the classic Peep is an amazing shade of yellow. Some might call it an unnatural color. But as far as unnatural goes, the color just can’t compete with the truly unnatural flavor of a Peep. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the Peep’s “yellowness” has got nothing on the sickeningly sweet flavor of your average Peep. Just try giving your 4- year old four or five Peeps as a bedtime snack and see how far that gets you.
In doing some exhaustive internet research on the Peep phenomenon, I discovered several important aspects of Peep culture. First, though they’re only sold at Easter time, they are produced year-round. This is possible because they conveniently have a shelf-life of 2 years. Like I said, a miracle of modern science. Second, while yellow Peeps are the most popular variety, they also come in lavender, pink, blue and white. Not exactly liturgical colors but festive nonetheless. Finally, you should know that Peeps never travel alone. They are basically created as Siamese quintuplets, attached at the hip before they’re put into a package and shipped off to the local Rite Aid.
I’m not exactly sure how the Peep became linked with the marking of our Lord’s death and resurrection. And the minor “miracle” of Peep technology set within the context of the truly miraculous Easter story that we’ve recounted in Scripture and music this morning pales in comparison. But once we recognize the real miracle of Easter: the empty tomb, Christ’s victory over sin and death, and our very redemption, our eyes are opened to the minor miracles that abound in this life. Once we recognize that through the resurrection of Jesus we are forgiven, healed, redeemed, and loved, we can move on to see the minor miracles that surround us. And Peeps might not be the kind of minor miracle we’re looking for. But reconciling a broken relationship with a friend, might be. Taking the dog for a walk and reveling in the beauty of the spring weather, might be. Walking into this church and recognizing for the first time in awhile that, yes, God is in relationship with me, might be. We see minor miracles all around us if we open our eyes and hearts and invite Christ into our lives in a deeper way. The Easter miracle is that God is miraculous, God’s creation is miraculous, and we participate and live in the midst of this miracle. We are part of the miracle because we are part of God’s creation.
This morning we’ve relived the Easter miracle one more time. We’ve heard gripping narrative and we’ve heard wonderful music. But the miracle doesn’t just fade away until next year’s Easter morning. We are living in the midst of it, right now, this morning, and each day of our lives. And that’s good news. Because the resurrected Jesus is with us now and until the end of the ages. Like Thomas, we may have our doubts occasionally or even often. But the doubts exist in the midst of our salvation. The doubts persist in the midst of the good news of Christ’s resurrection. And if God through Christ can destroy sin and death, I think he’s more than capable of handling some doubts on our part. You may doubt that the Peep is an art form. You may doubt that the Peep tastes good. You may doubt why I’ve even brought them up this morning. But the Easter miracle withstands all of our doubts and, in time, brings us to that place of joy and peace that only comes about through faith in Jesus Christ.
© The Rev. Tim Schenck 2001