Christ is Risen, Indeed!

Christ is Risen, Indeed!

The very first Easter didn’t happen at a church. It happened outside an empty tomb, while all the disciples were sequestered at home, grief-stricken and wondering what was going on.  

In the Gospel of John we read, “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.”

We read those words, and expect Resurrection. Mary was not expecting Resurrection. Instead, she jumped to the worst case scenario: a grave robber had been there. It was one more bad thing, one more evil deed. After all, it’d been that kind of week.

Jesus had been arrested, abandoned by his closest companions and support systems, beaten and cursed, crucified and buried. And now this. Someone had desecrated the tomb. Mary wept. Faced with what she couldn’t explain or understand, an empty tomb, she assumed the worst. And looked for someone to blame.

Yet, that’s not the end of the story. Something happened to Mary. Jesus resurrection became her resurrection as well. God made that possible. Her weeping and fear were transformed when she experienced the Risen Christ. God’s Presence was still here, on earth.
Mary was the first one to approach the empty tomb, and the first one to announce, “I have seen the Lord.” That’s Resurrection joy! The pain and loss of recent events changed things, and life would be different. Yet the Good News of Easter is: all of God’s Presence is with us, wherever we are, wherever we go.

This Easter, we start with the empty tomb. We show up there. And as poet Ted Loder puts it, we open ourselves up to the mystery and light, so that we too can see and experience God with us, now: Gentle us, Holy One, into an unclenched moment, a deep breath, a letting go of heavy expectations, of shriveling anxieties, of death certainties, that softened by the silence, surrounded by the light and open to the mystery, we may be found in wholeness, upheld by the unfathomable, entranced by the simple and filled with the joy that is You. Hallelujah! 

Christ is Risen!! Christ is Risen, indeed!!!
Pastor Kim