Easter April 1, 2019
Scripture Reading: Luke 24:1-12
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.
Idle tale is that the equivalent of emotional women’s gibberish? Why did Peter run to the tomb if, indeed, it was only an idle tale? Did he expect something more sinister? Perhaps he was just a nice guy who wanted to calm the women and went to check so he could reassure them? Or had snippets of Jesus’ words been replaying in his head, something about the third day, that sent him running? Hope is a great motivator.
After experiencing a great loss of any kind humans tend to rearrange the priorities of their lives. Jesus’ death and resurrection did just that for a relatively small group of dedicated followers who after returning from that tomb, after reconnecting with the risen Lord, after a normal period of shock and grief set out as instructed to take the ways of Jesus to the ends of the earth and in so doing changed the whole world. We celebrate these events each year to remind us that we are responding to the same calling. To do it well we too need to rearrange our priorities because there is nothing, we can do that is more important than making the love of God the standard for our whole world in all that we do individually and collectively.
In all the world around me I see His loving care
And though my heart grows weary I never will despair
I know that He is leading, through all the stormy blast
The day of His appearing will come at last
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King
The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find
None other is so loving, so good and kind*
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your wonderous love modeled for us by your son Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
*Verses two and three of He Lives by Alfred H. Ackley
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.