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A local Easter story: Ann Atwater and C.P. Ellis

April 25th, 2011 by isaac · No Comments

Here’s part of my Easter sermon:

For C.P. Ellis and Ann Atwater, friendship seemed impossible. According to the old order, these two were to treat each other as if the other was a disease that led to death; the one was dead to the other. In this old order, a shroud of death enveloped their interactions, restricting what could be possible. Not only were they willing and able to kill each other, but other people in their communities threatened death if they worked together. Late at night, when C.P. would answer his phone, he would hear unknown voices and, sadly, the voices of old friends; they would threaten to kill him if he continued to work with Ann.

But death would not have the last word. Something happened to both of them, to C.P. Ellis and Ann Atwater, that shook them free from the shackles of the old, and invited them into a whole new world of possibility. This is an Easter story because new life happened where there should have been death. This is a resurrection story because a power no one could control broke through hardened ways of life and created unheard of possibilities: that a militant black radical and an exalted cyclops of the Klan let their lives become intertwined. Despite what each thought was true about the other, they found themselves converted, transformed, changed. They found themselves becoming family, a sister and brother, members of the family of God.

For the rest of it, here’s a link: Easter at CHMF


Tags: race & ethnicity · sermons