Tonight we have much to get through and the clock is ticketing. Six weeks of Lent and we are all probably dying to break our fast, open the chocolates, pop the cork and generally celebrate. And the kettles are on in the Pastoral Centre.
But we have much to get through not least the history of salvation: for in our reading we have presented to us the story of creation, our fall from grace, God saving his people in the Exodus, the promise of prophets of salvation and our redemption in Christ.
A romp through salvation history indeed. And we have also used symbols and signs to point us to the divine mysteries we celebrate tonight. The darkness itself symbolize the eternal darkness of death overcome by the light of Christ. And from this paschal light we too have light the lamp of faith in our lives.
But the most important signs and symbols are yet to come. And they are living signs of Christ’s Redeeming presence to us. For it is on this night when Christ our Lord over came sin and death and brought life to the world that we receive from the Lord new living members of his body the Church. For from the font will be born new Disciples of Christ, new brothers and sisters of the Lord.
Tonight we welcome them with greatest joy and love, you are symbols to us of the Lord’s generosity and love, signs of his life and resurrection.
You remind us of what is most central to our Christian faith of why we are followers of Christ. You have found the answer to the women’s question in the Gospel who will roll the stone away for us. You have found the answer to that question Only Christ.
Only Christ can roll the stone away that encloses us in the darkness of death, only he our Lord can lead us from the darkness of death to the joyful light of Easter morning.
This morning in our brother and sister reborn to new life in baptism in Christ we witness the stone rolled away and the darkness of death over come by the light of faith.
And you will see him just as he told you to quote the Gospel this evening. You will see Christ just as he told you in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, for you will receive our Blessed Lord in Holy Communion for the first time. And you will become his witness in the world by the grace of the Holy Spirit poured out upon you in the sacrament of confirmation, his gift to build up and strengthen his church.
Tonight there is much to do, much for us to celebrate and give thanks to God for. And most especially tonight to welcome our brother and sisters in the family of God, the church for in you we see the hand of Lord at work and the life of the resurrection present amongst us.