By Joanne Gallardo, campus pastor
Scripture: John 20:1-18 (NRSV)
What I love about the resurrection story from John is that it features Mary Magdalene as the first evangelist. Not “first female evangelist,” but first evangelist. She tells the disciples the Good News of seeing the risen Lord. Her mourning at the tomb turns into joy. Death did not have the last say and that Jesus is as alive now as he ever was.
Jesus is as alive now as he ever was. This week we have gone through acclaiming Jesus as king during Palm Sunday, watching his death at the hands of the State during Good Friday, and now, rejoicing along with Mary Magdalene at his “quietly dramatic” appearance at the tomb.
Jesus is as alive now as he ever was. Perhaps we are in just the position to accept this “quietly dramatic” appearance of God in the flesh and the unlikely evangelist celebrating the miracle. Many of us are cooped up in our homes, working, caring for children, or both. We’re trying to finish up classes, stay relatively sane or manage from day to day without despairing at the death and bleak news we see and hear around us. We’re looking for a miracle, or at least, maybe a return to some semblance of “normal.”
Jesus is as alive now as he ever was. It’s quite possible that we won’t return to “normal” anytime soon, or that “normal” will look a lot different in the future. Good Friday can seem as if it’s stretching out forever. Just as Mary wept at the tomb, we too weep with very real grief; grief that can’t be contained in trite phrases such as “it’s tough right now” or “I’m managing.”
Jesus is as alive now as he ever was. Maybe our hope this Easter is not found in elaborate church services, huge family gatherings, Easter egg hunts or chorales sung by large choirs. Maybe our hope this Easter is found in the One who knows our name, saying our name; saying our name in such a way that we know instantly who God is and what we are called to proclaim. Saying our name in such a way that we can’t help but tell others that our worst fears have not been realized, and that we follow One who has conquered death.
Jesus is as alive now as he ever was. Amen.
Scripture: John 20:1-18 (NRSV)
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him. 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.
11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? She said to them, They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him. 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for? Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. 16Jesus said to her, Mary! She turned and said to him in Hebrew, Rabbouni! (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, I have seen the Lord; and she told them that he had said these things to her.