Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

Light a candle, if you have one. Take a deep breath. Remember though we gather separately today, we are gathered together, with all the saints, in prayer and praise this day. God is with us. We are not alone. Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia!

A reading from John 20:1-18

            Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So, she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” So, Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally, the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

An Easter Reflection

            In our dis-belief… in the broken cracks of cynicism and skepticism- we come, expecting to mourn the death of our Lord- and here we find him risen. We see- and cannot believe. To touch him with our hands- to kiss him with our mouths- would not be enough. Yet, here he is. Our Lord, wo died- our Lord, who was laid in the tomb is alive! He has risen- just as he said. He has conquered the powers of sin and death and stands before us now. Our hears are filled with joy- our eyes are filled with tears- Here is Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. And he calls to you- and to me. He welcomes us into his out-stretched arms. He longs to draw us close to himself, to love us, and call us beloved. Forever and ever. Amen.