April 20, 2003 - Easter
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices so they could embalm him. Very early on Sunday morning, as the sun rose, they went to the tomb. They worried out loud to each other, "Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?"
Then they looked up, saw that it has been rolled back -- it was a huge stone -- and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished.
He said, "Don't be afraid. I know you're looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He's been raised up; He's here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now -- on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You'll see him there, exactly as he said."
They got out as fast as they could. beside themselves, their heads swimming. Stunned, they said nothing to anyone.
1. Our expectations based on our experiences of life can cause us to cast our eyes downward. We live out of the habits of life whether that be brushing our teeth or going through funeral rituals. We reinforce these behaviors with our worry talk that keeps us so fixated on doing there is no meditational room for being.
2. Almost accidentally we look away from our routines and find ourselves taken aback, shocked, stunned, confused at the possibilities.
3. We are called into deeper community that will not only have us establish traditional routines, but lead us into a new future not as bounded as our present. And yet it takes awhile for this to settle in.
Mark leaves us with the oldest ending as a question mark. Will word finally get out? Will the good news promised in 1:1 come to naught? How does this ending lead on?
Beyond those story questions comes a question for our lives and our world at war? Will we, too, say nothing about the new life ahead of us or will we retreat into the way the world works because that's the way the world works?
May this question clear your head to tell what you know will lead us from death to life and to be enthralled with Easter, not scared by it.