April 8, 2012

April 8, Easter Sunday: The heavy lifting is done. Hallelujah!


By Gwen Gustafson-Zook, minister of worship
SCRIPTURE: Mark 16:1-8 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

Two downcast women, deep in grief and weighed down by pain and suffering,
laboriously take one step at a time in the direction of their pain –
unable to avoid the inevitable,
unable to make sense of the senseless,
unable to do anything other than that which they know must be done:
funnel whatever energy remains into tender touch
for the one they so deeply loved,
for the one they so painfully lost.

In their anguish, their eyes stay fixed on the ground,
not wanting to be doing what they’re doing,
not wanting to be getting closer to the crux of their pain with each step,
not wanting to have to figure out how to do the heavy lifting that is awaiting them.

They are so weighed down already.

They murmur to each other:
How will we do this?
How will we carry on?
How can we get past the oppressive weight?

The path comes to an end.
They slowly look up.
Their eyes widen.
Things are not as they expected.

The heavy lifting has already been done.
This is, indeed, Good News! Hallelujah!

Thank you for “signing up” and journeying with all of us at Goshen College during this season of Lent. We trust that your journey has been enriched by having others to walk alongside you during these days of struggle and suffering on the road to new life. Now as you live into the season of Easter may you do so with a lightness in your step and a persistent awareness that the heavy lifting has already been taken care of. Carry on in wonder and amazement! Hallelujah!


Join us again for devotions when the season of Advent begins (unless you unsubscribe, they will automatically come to you when they begin again in late November 2012).

SCRIPTURE: Mark 16:1-8 (NRSV)
1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 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. 7 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.” 8 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.



Comments (18)

  1. Thank you, Goshen College, for the uplifting and profound reflections during this Lent. You did so much heavy lifting off my mind and heart. A Happy Easter, and united with you in prayer and sacrifice.
    Mervyn Carapiet

    Mervyn Carapiet April 8, 2012 |
  2. Guwen, Thanks for the meditation. What a transformation as we behold a risen Christ. Alleluia!

    Ora April 8, 2012 |
  3. These devoyional readings are always very uplifting. Thanks a lot and have a Blessed Easter and a good year!

    Elizabeth (Liz) Lehman April 8, 2012 |
  4. These devotionals have been a wonderful and thoughtful way to make our way to the cross and to the glorious morning of Easter. Thank you for sharing these with all of us. Blessings as you continue to live the journey.

    Sherry April 8, 2012 |
  5. Thanks to all of you who so generously shared this journey with me.

    Betsy Wilson April 8, 2012 |
  6. Congratulations on the Advent/Lenten devotional ministry. I am deeply impressed with the spiritual maturity of your student writers, and of course, of professional staff members. I am thinking that Goshen College must be a very find school in the service of the Lord. Leland Eyres, Retired United Methodist pastor.

    Leland Eyres April 8, 2012 |
  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me during this Lenten season. I greatly appreciate it!!

    mike April 8, 2012 |
  8. Thank you for your Lenten devotionals. You have richly enhanced my journey to this time of celebration today of a risen Saviour.

    Lorene April 8, 2012 |
  9. Thank you all for an enjoyable lent/Easter series.

    Kaye Fox April 8, 2012 |
  10. Thank you Goshen College it is always uplifting to read your Devotions!!!!!!!!!

    bob April 8, 2012 |
  11. Thank you for making it possible for us to share the Lenten and Easter journey with you – each Advent and Lent, I am grateful for the daily emails and the perceptions of those who write them. God bless! – Sherri

    Sherri Butler April 8, 2012 |
  12. Thank you so much for these devotions. They help a lot.

    patzavadil April 8, 2012 |
  13. Thank you, Gwen. The poetry is so very expressive. This one’s a keeper.

    Elaine Kauffman April 8, 2012 |
  14. What a great way to end the Lenten season and transition into the Easter season! This Easter has seemed more Lenten than usual for me, but I take comfort in knowing that, as you pointed out, God is doing the heavy lifting for us. Praise the Lord!

    Elizabeth S.O. April 8, 2012 |
  15. Thank You Goshen College for leading our thoughts on our Precuious Lord and Savior that led us to a Glorious Easter Day…..It was so uplifting to be greeted each day by the scriptures and comments …

    Mary Helen April 9, 2012 |
  16. Thank you. Just lovely. So elegant.

    Maureen April 9, 2012 |
  17. Thank you! The devotional commentaries enrich our Lentin journeys.

    Jon Byler April 9, 2012 |
  18. Christ is risen! Alleluia!
    I have so much appreciated the insights of students, faculty and staff during this past season of Lent. Thanks for enriching my walk through Lent to the open tomb.
    Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

    (Rev) Robert F Burke April 11, 2012 |