Notes from Pastor Steve – April 2017

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 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. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
(Matthew 28:1-10)

In Matthew’s account of the Easter morning story, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary are met at the tomb first by a “great earthquake,” and then by a descended angel who rolled away the stone in front of the tomb. It will be this same angel who will announce the risen Lord to the women, and it will be this same angel who will give them their assignment: Go tell the fellows that Jesus is risen and, oh, since Jesus is already there in Galilee, he will meet you there.” Yet, Jesus meets Mary and Mary before they arrive at the place where the disciples are hiding.

Three surprises in one morning: an earthquake, the appearance of a messenger angel, and the early arrival of Jesus. You know, if I didn’t know better, I’d say something pretty special was intended to happen three days following the Crucifixion of Jesus…

Sometimes I think my life is missing those cosmic events. I go about my business (almost all of which ya’ll know about!), yet nothing is really out of the ordinary. I read, I write, I visit, I listen, I plan, and then I go home. “How was your day today?” Kris asks, and my response is generally something like “Nothing earth- shaking.” There was no cosmic event, no angel dropped in to give me direction for the day, and most certainly Jesus did not show up…

Uh oh. I forgot. Jesus DID show up today. In fact, Jesus has shown up every day of my life.

We keep waiting for the cosmic events. We keep waiting for that sign from above. We act as though our day could not have possessed any Christ-like connection because our day was ordinary. Ordinary. Yet, I challenge you to consider this.

Every day is Easter. Every day is a new day in Christ. Every day is a new day in your baptism by the Holy Spirit. And, every day presents you with the opportunity to witness to the One who met Mary and Mary on the road to Galilee.

And he met them before they had expected to see him. Jesus is cool that way, isn’t he? Here it is, just another ordinary day, and in the busyness of your day you take a deep breath of fresh air and you take the time to notice that hummingbird flitting from flower to flower. You clear your mind of all your troubles from work or school, and suddenly the smell of the nearby swamp reminds you of your days as a youngster when Grandpa took you fishing. Suddenly, by stopping and taking the time to pay attention to God’s Creation, you realize that there is nothing – absolutely NOTHING – ordinary about any day that we have the opportunity to live in Christ in the world created by God.

You know, when you think about it, this is earth-shaking news.

To God be the Glory for all God has done,
Pastor Steve