April 24, 2011

April 24: Hovering over the chaos


By Tamara Shantz, assistant campus pastor and apartment manager
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 28:1-10 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

Throughout our Lenten devotionals we have been considering what it means to “become human.” As Philip Newell suggests in his book, Christ of the Celts, in Christ, we have a witness to the truth of who God created us to be. Christ shows us not only the face of God but also “the true face of the human soul.”

On Easter morning, we arise to find that the tomb is empty and our Lord walks amongst us once more. Christ has been raised and we have been liberated from the power of death. Even so, as we seek to be authentically human, we must experience death – the death of our false selves. But we know that when we face death (whether metaphorical or physical), God invites us beyond to live freely as the beloved persons God has created us to be.

This freedom, this liberation, that comes to us on Easter is not simplistic or well-ordered. The story of Christ’s resurrection already points to this. In the midst of miracle and wonder, there is also fear, fainting and chaos. Yet the women were able to see the truth, they could see their risen Lord.

“To be free is to see new truths emerging in the chaos, to see the Spirit of God hovering over the chaos.” (Vanier in Becoming Human)

As we continue together on this messy journey of becoming human, I pray that we will continually look to Christ as our guide and sense the Spirit hovering close at hand.

Thank you for joining the students, faculty and staff of Goshen College during Lent for these devotions. We pray they have met a spiritual need for you each day as you have walked through the wilderness and to the cross with Jesus as we have all reflected together on becoming human. We have been blessed to be part of your journey. Join us again when the season of Advent begins (unless you unsubscribe, they will automatically come to you when they start again in late November).

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



Comments (17)

  1. We have enjoyed these devotions for several seasons. It is a joy to see the young people express their faith in ways that inspire and encourage us. We rejoice in the Easter victory and look forward to the coming Advent season.

    Ines and Greg April 24, 2011 |

    mitchell jones April 24, 2011 |
  3. What a blessing these devotions have been. The students, staff, and faculty of Goshen have shared rich insight and given me much to consider. Thanks to you all from a Mennonite in far-away Pasadena, CA.

    David April 24, 2011 |
  4. Throughout this journey together, my mind and my spirit have been expanded continually by the joy and wonder, fear and trembling expressed by each contributor. I am blessed and I thank God through the living Christ for each of you and your sharing of your journey. God is indeed glorified by your witness!

    Mike Naylor April 24, 2011 |
  5. Thank you Goshen College and special thanks to the contributors. My heart and mind have learned so much this Lent, and now I rejoice in Easter’s vanquishing of fear.
    May the joy continue for the rest of the year for all of you and for us readers and meditators, too.

    marjorie April 24, 2011 |
  6. Thanks again for adding to our days during Lent with these devotionals. It was good too when the scriptural basis was refernced and included.

    Ora April 24, 2011 |
  7. Thank you for allowing me to travel with young minds at GC as they explored the scriptures and pointed out new ideas and challenges. This trip has been a daily challenge for me and I await hearing from GC students again next December. I commend each of you who have made the journey avasilaable to me and I await hearing from you again. Keep this idea of sharing your thoughts on the front burner!

    Mary K. April 24, 2011 |
  8. Happy Easter, He is risen indeed! I want to thank Goshen College and all of the contributors to this devotional series. I have been blessed by your words and meditations and look forward to the Advent series. Meanwhile I pray that all of you will have a wonderful and blessed summer and fall. Thank you again.

    Judy April 24, 2011 |
  9. Thank you Goshen College you have blessed my Heart with the Lenten devotions by all!!!!!!!!!

    bob April 24, 2011 |
  10. Tamara–your encouragement to seek God’s truths in the messy journey of becoming truly human feels like a blessing. Thank you for a meaningful Easter meditation.

    Ann Hostetler April 24, 2011 |
  11. Thank you for your part in my Lenten journey to the cross. It has been very meaningful. May God continue to bless all of you at Goshen College. Peace, Flora

    flora April 24, 2011 |
  12. Thank you! God Bless each and every one who blessed me daily.
    Happy Easter…..He is risen.

    Rhonda Crews April 24, 2011 |
  13. Once again you have provided a daily foundation for living out the call to “Go and Tell” the great message that the Risen Christ brings us freedom, joy, hope, love and Peace.
    Thank You!!

    Blake Puckett April 24, 2011 |
  14. Thank you does not really tell you how much I appreciate the Lenten devotions. I get them at work, and they keep me focused. God truly bless you for this ministry.

    penney helms April 25, 2011 |
  15. Thank you for the commentaries during this Lenten season; they have been insightful and helpful. Jon Byler

    Jon Byler April 25, 2011 |
  16. Thank you so much from this Texas Baptist. I have enjoyed my daily visits with the students and staff of Goshen during the lenten season. I will miss having this devotional time with all of you. May God continue to bless and keep you all. Debby, Houston Texas

    Debby Sawtell April 25, 2011 |
  17. Thank you so much for these blessings. They are my favorite devotions every Lenten and Advent season.
    JoAnn Barbour
    North Carolina

    JoAnn Barbour April 26, 2011 |