Matthew 28:8-10

So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 28:8-10

The resurrection is the Big Bang of spirituality. Some people fervently believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead. They take the story at face value. Some people think the whole story is a foolish legend that has caused more problems than it is worth. Whatever people believe about it, those beliefs drive their behaviors. We all live in the shadow of this story.

There was no hesitation or doubt in the reaction of the women. They didn’t sit around and argue with one another about what they ought to do. The angel said “Go, tell” and they did. They ran. With fear. With great joy.

As they ran, Jesus showed up for them.

Jesus showed up and caught them in the act of being obedient. They carried the message and, in that, they met Jesus.

There is a great temptation in all of us to turn the Christian faith into a “head game.” To reduce the Christian faith to a world limited to the thoughts between our ears. Doctrines and articles of faith and theological principles. Don’t get me wrong, I believe all of that matters. All of those words have arisen from human experience. They allow the continuing conversation that is part of the Christian experience and witness to the world.

But Jesus did not die and rise from the dead so that people could someday write theology. He did it to seal the transformation that Mary Magdalene saw in her own life. He did it so that people would be willing to carry the message to others – to turn and run rather than turning away and retreating. He did it so that his disciples would know that he would always be with them. Even if it took going back home to Galilee to realize it.

We all live in the shadow of the resurrection. Our lives, the choices we make, the ways we treat other people, who we see when we look in the mirror – all of that is a reflection of the impact of the resurrection in our lives. Mostly likely, some of us still react with fear and great joy.

Let us pray: As the women ran from the empty tomb, so inspire us to carry your message in our own lives. With our bodies and our words, may our lives be reflections of our love of God and neighbor, of serving before being served, of hospitality to the stranger, and of justice for all. May we always carry you home until that day when you carry us home. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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