Archive for April 4th, 2021
Read: Acts 1.3 (NRSV)
After the resurrection, Jesus presented himself to them in many ways for forty days. Speaking and teaching about the kingdom of God. Some of us are all like “doubting Thomas” and we are cautious to be the first to believe much less follow. Every step of our journey is different – some are baby steps, and some are giant leaps of faith.
Get to Work! But remember it is the journey of our life that God has died to claim and risen to share. Roll the stone away and let us go together!
Prayer: Thank you for loving me and loving us, loving us all, so very much. Let the joy of Easter shine through us all. Amen.
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. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her. [NRSA: John 20:1-18]
The response of Disciples
- All we afraid and experiencing grief.
- Some went focused on the matters of the burial.
- Some telling unbelievable stories.
- Some running toward belief
- Some looking for proof
- Some not understanding the scriptures.
- Some returned to their homes.
- Some weeping and waiting.
the perfect time for salvation is in the moment of being most aware we are broken, unbelieving, afraid, dead, running, seeking, not understanding, at home, hiding, and weeping, for then we were MOST AWARE of our weakness, brokenness, and inability to bring order to the chaos.
What are you doing this Easter?
In celebration of the greatest event of faith in human history since creation itself, what we doing right now?
Most of the world are not gathered to worship and celebrate the Resurrection. Not only because we have not all thawed from the precautions of pandemic, while the world is connected in communications as never before, most are not celebration a living God, with the power to order chaos, fix and redeem all that is broken, heal and restore life to the dead. Billions are devoted to other ideas, faiths, rationalized explanation, or simple apathy and a lack of concern or fear of acknowledging the emptiness they experience in their own world perspectives.
As a nation, we have taken for granted the opportunity of being a nation, that seeks God’s heart and have become an adolescent majority that believe they know more than any God, have answers for every questions without the need for faith, mystery, and believe their own understanding of “Love” can be derived from a self-determined moral ascent of thought for some lowest common denominator of goodness.
My rambling point is that the world continues to settle for emptiness, grief, proof, weeping, waring, and the dismissive returning home in retreat.
The state of the News of Resurrection and Worldview are very similar, then and now. If someone tells you the Post Easter experience is different now, 2000 years after the stone was first rolled away and God’s divine work of restoring a broken creation is so modern, different, and detached… the truth is, we are extremely near to the same response.
Where is the Hope?
The home comes when Jesus speaks to those who are waiting and searching.
The 12 were not at the tomb ready to celebrate and sing, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today!” They were at home. For those who were willing to search and listen for the voice of witnesses, angels, and the voice of Christ, find the power, truth, and life the risen Lord have given us.
- For Mary who goes to tell others,
- For Peter and John who run to see,
- For Mary who remains to see and hear, Jesus speaks to her, by name,
- Her response is identifying with Jesus as teacher.
We are the students
- Students know they have more to learn.
- Student have respect to know where to seek answers and direction.
- Students listen, follow, and trust the Teacher’s instruction.
These are what we are modeled this Easter, and every day.
- Confess we do not know it all,
- we do not have all the answers,
- But, We know who to trust
- We know who to follow,
- What know what to model,
- We know we are to also tell, lead, and share with others,
- We know the world needs what God has done and is doing through Jesus, the Risen Lord!
The simple task for Easter Sunday 2021 is to
- Affirm or reaffirm our faith in Jesus Christ, risen for us personally, and for the world, the broken sin filled self-absorbed world, and
- To Claim the task of being the messengers
- Sent and empowered by Christ.
- To witness what we have seen, heard,
- To share what we believe and trust,
- To live the eternal life of love and peace that has been given to us.
- Until every knee bow and every tongue join our praise and celebration.
Let’s get busy!!
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid. [NRSA: MK 16:1-8]
The oldest copies of Mark’s gospel end at this point in the story of Jesus. It is important that we have read all of Mark’s gospel to fully appreciate why the stories stops with fear, instead of joy and celebration. In quick summary, in Mark’s account, Jesus repeatedly tells the disciples to not tell anyone when they experience a divine revealing of God at work.
- Mark 1:34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.
- Mark 1:44 and He *said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
- Mark 3:12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.
- Mark 5:43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.
- Mark 7:24 Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice.
- Mark 7:36 And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it.
- Mark 8:26 And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
- Mark 8:30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him.
- Mark 9:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus expressly order them not to tell anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
- Mark 9:30 From there they went out and began to go through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know about it.
- Mark 11:33 Answering Jesus, they *said, “We do not know.” And Jesus *said to them, “Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
11 times Jesus said:
- Don’t speak,
- say nothing,
- do not tell,
- no one is to know,
- no escape,
- do not tell anyone,
- Do not enter,
- tell no one,
- do not tell anyone,
- he did not want anyone to know,
- nor will I tell you.
Until the Resurrection:
Until Mark 16, Until Mary stands before him Risen from the Dead
NOW Go Tell! Go tell the Disciples. Go tell the world.
They said nothing.
The single most significant news to tell the world and once hearing it, they went home filled with terror and fear.
And they said nothing.
Now we know from history and the fact that we have gathered yet again for as many years as we are old on the anniversary of this morning, but the question of the year is this:
- Who have you specifically told about news of Jesus’s gift of salvation?
- Who have told, that has not already heard, about the eternity part of our life that is not over at the point our heart stops beating, our spirit, our soul, the true person that we are will continue to live, just as Jesus is alive.
- Who have your individually told about the news that even if we have sinned, messed up, screwed up all the plans, God so loves us that Jesus has died for those sins, and has over-come the barrier that seizes the world with fear and terror.
Death has gone out of business because of Easter and the Resurrection, for those who claim the life Christ has died to give us.
More important in 2021, is who will you tell?
- Who will you tell today?
- Who will you tell tomorrow,
- who will you tell as long as you have breathe to tell?
- This is reason we have gathered, to hear the story once again and to respond to today’s call to GO TELL,
Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere, Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is Risen!