Rick Maupin of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. -Colossians 3:16-17
It is almost too bad we know the rest of the Easter story, or at least we think we do. Because of our familiarity with the story we may be missing some of the surprise of Easter. Our familiarity may limit what we expect to hear and experience.
Many come expecting to see Easter lilies and an invitation to sing, “Alleluia, he is risen.” Most will be able to describe the scene at the tomb before we read again the story in Mark. If asked what is next, many of us would recount disciples walking down a road with the resurrected Jesus, talking and eating with him. Many of the children can predict the stone sealing the tomb is not a problem.
There will be no gasps of surprise when congregation members hear the tomb is empty. So, is it possible Easter has become too predictable, too domesticated, and even routine?
That first Easter morning the women in Mark’s story thought they knew what they would find at that tomb. They set out on their journey expecting to find a small cave sealed with a stone and a decaying body inside. However, the empty tomb surprised them, as well as the young man who told them Jesus had gone ahead of them into Galilee. Their response, according to Mark, was fear and silence.
Let us not be bound by our expectations and familiarity with the Easter story. Let us go find the resurrected Jesus in the Galilees of our world. When we do, this familiar story will be filled with new surprises. But let’s not be fearful and silent; let those surprises erupt in voices singing in new ways, “Alleluia, he is risen!”
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Moving Toward the Peaceful One
As Jesus was nearing the final days of his life, he wept over the city and proclaimed, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:41-42).What are the things that make for peace in our lives, communities, and around the world? During the Lenten season, spend time in silent refection or journaling each day to notice: Am I moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? Pay attention to your attitudes, actions, and relationships this day. When did you most embody the peaceful One in your daily living? When were your thoughts or actions contrary to the peace of Jesus Christ? How might Jesus, the peaceful One, who is always near to you, be inviting you to draw nearer to him through your daily living?
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.