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resurrection




“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 will you see him, just as he told you.”  Mark 16:6-7

 

Alone among the gospels, Mark’s Easter story doesn’t have Jesus. He’s mentioned, but he’s not there.

 

And, it doesn’t really have a happy ending. Rather than responding with great joy, running off to tell everyone the news, Mark’s women at the tomb responded to that message by running away, not saying anything to anyone because they were afraid.


At some point, though, they must have stopped running, found their voices, and said something. If they hadn’t, how would we know their story?   


In the gospel of Mark, ordinary people, like the women at the tomb, are raised to new life nearly everywhere Jesus goes. We lose something in our English translations, but the gospel writer uses the same Greek verb when Simon Peter’s Mother-in-Law is lifted up; when the paralyzed man lowered down through the roof by his friends, the man with the withered hand whom Jesus healed on the Sabbath, Jairus’ young daughter who had lost consciousness, and blind Bartimaeus are all made to stand up; when Judas comes to deliver Jesus and the disciples into a future they would not have wished for, and Jesus tells the disciples to get up and face whatever is to come. The last time that verb is used, in the verse above, God does for Jesus what Jesus has been doing for ordinary people all along.


Resurrection doesn’t need angelic proclamation or trumpet fanfare to be true. Neither does it require explanation. It’s the way you move into the future, especially on those days you realize there’s no going back to what used to be.


As much as we might like happy and neatly resolved endings to everything, there will be days of grief and sadness, days of fear and amazement, days when running away seems like the best answer.   


But, like those women at the empty tomb, we hear the same words: Christ is alive! Jesus is Risen. And, he has gone ahead of us, back to Galilee, into our regular lives, where he is already waiting for us. 


There we will see him.


May this be true for each of us and may we have the courage to share our stories.


With Easter hope,

Pastor Sue


Resurrection may not need trumpet fanfare, but isn’t the photograph wonderful? From an Easter Sunday in St Stephen’s past. Does anyone remember when this was?

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