It’s a good thing for me that Easter is a season, not a holiday. A very good thing.
It’s too much to take in for just one day. It’s too big for one big church service and family celebration. It feeds my soul that we kick-off the Easter season bursting forth from the darkness of Lent and the midnight of Good Friday and Holy Saturday with the brilliant dawn of Resurrection Sunday, and then we get to marinate and soak in the light for a bit.
Thanks to the brilliant sharing of your staff of the Iowa Conference UCC this past week, I’m sitting in the stories of resurrection of Christ, basking and bathing in the sonlight, and wondering. I’m wondering, who am I in this story, today?
After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. (Matt. 28:1, NRSV)
Am I the mighty angel, full of power and bravado, causing earthquakes and perching nearby to see who notices?
And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from Heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. (Matt. 28: 2, NRSV)
Am I a guard, protecting and holding, paralyzed by my fear?
For fear of [the angel] the guards shook and became like dead men. (Matt. 28:3, NRSV)
Am I that same angel, but with a message to be shared with the world?
Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’” (Matt. 28:5-7a, NRSV)
Am I among the priests and elders, making plans and explanations that make sense out of nonsense, trying to protect and calm the status quo?
After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
(Matt. 28:12-14, NRSV)
Am I with the disciples, receiving the Good News and yet still drawn to the tomb?
Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves;
And forever changed by what I saw there?
then he went home, amazed at what had happened. (Luke 24:10-12, NRSV)
Christ calls us into his story this Easter season. May you find yourself and be found by Christ among the characters forever changed by the gift of life and love winning over death.
Brigit Stevens, Associate Conference Minister