Alleluia, Jesus Lives!
Rick Maupin, Council of Twelve Apostles
And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 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. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. -Mark 16:2-8
Years ago it was common to read “The End” at the end of a movie or book. Usually it seemed unnecessary because it was obvious that it was the end. Sometimes, however, it seemed strange to see the words “The End” because we did not expect them. We wanted to say, “Wait a minute! This cannot be the ending! There must be more! Is the story just going to leave us hanging?” Strange, abrupt, unresolved, and left hanging might define how the earliest form of the book of Mark ends: “The women fled in terror and told no one anything. They were afraid.”
Really? The End?
Could it be the women fled in terror because they knew this was not the end but the beginning of something more radical and daring than anything they witnessed before Jesus was killed? Jesus was crucified because he upset the status quo and called out the oppressors. Now he has overcome death. What radical things might he do now? And what radical things might he challenge his followers to do?
Reverend Gwen Drake stated, “Of course the women were scared when they saw the stone rolled away from the tomb. They had come to conduct a funeral, not a revolution. They had come to grieve, not to organize” (“Finding Life in Death,” www.hillsboroumc.org/sermons/2010/04_04_2010_sermon.shtml).
We are called to join the revolution and “courageously challenge cultural, political, and religious trends that are contrary to the reconciling and restoring purposes of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:3b).
Through the Resurrection story let us hear that call to participate in a revolution for justice and peace which will ultimately result in God’s Peaceable Kingdom. The Resurrection is not the end.
“Every breath is a resurrection” (Gregory Orr).
Breath of Life
Take a few moments right now to breathe. Simply observe each inhale and exhale. Pay attention to how it feels in your body. Notice the rise and fall of your chest. Notice how you breathe even when you aren’t thinking about it, how your body instinctively knows how to keep you alive without your thought or effort. In this moment, you are alive. Receive this awareness as an expression of divine grace. In joy or despair, loss or celebration, your body continues breathing. How is your breath a resurrection this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.