Believe? Risen? Emmanuel?
"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."" (Mark 16:6 emphasis mine)
We have been looking at, and I pray thinking about, what we believe. Do we really believe it? This last year has been an especially difficult year for many (if not all) of us. How many times have we prepared for something - gotten everything done, been ready to go - when it was cancelled, postponed or in some other way changed? I don't know about you but my tendency is to end up with a "say what" expression and wonder what to do with all the prep work I have finished. I can understand the women "fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them." (v. 7)
Our Gospel reading, this morning, is Mark's account of the resurrection. The women are prepared to "anoint him" (Jesus) with "spices." (v. 1) The are prepared to take care of their loved one and are wondering "who will roll away the stone." (v. 3) Instead when they get there "the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled away." (v. 4) What would your reaction be? In the Gospel of John, chapter 20, Mary Magdalene, goes for help (v. 2), asks questions (v. 13 & 15) and stays in the garden - she is the first one to see Jesus alive (v. 14). In Mark's Gospel the women are "amazed" and in "terror" as they "fled." (v. 7)
We know the rest of the story. We know Jesus DID rise from the grave and was seen by the Disciples and others. We know Jesus ascended into heaven. We know Jesus IS with us -- Emmanuel. But..... do we REALLY believe it? Or is it something we celebrate once a year, maybe even talk about - at least that once a year - but don't really even think about? IF we really believe it can we be excited about the celebration? He IS Risen!!! He is risen, INDEED!!
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