Mark 16:1-81When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus’ body.2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.3They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”4When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.6But 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.7But 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.”8So 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.
Well, here we are celebrating the resurrection on Zoom. Again. My excitement overflows.
I will say that my fervent prayer is that this is the last high holy day that we celebrate on Zoom. And I know that just from last night, I got wind of Trinity Lansdale was serving as a vaccination site, and they had some extra vaccines leftover. And so the pastor up there called me and said, "Hey, do you have anybody," and as I was calling around, many of us are vaccinated, far more than I thought. And if I don't have an Easter hopeful message that like, things are getting better that the dawn is rising, it's that. So continue to do what you can, in the midst of this pandemic, we continue to try and keep people as safe as we can. And we'll try as as hard as we can to resume life as normal in our worship community as quickly and as safely as we can. Because Christ has taught us time and time again, that Christ comes to be with us in this and and all things.
So as I was preparing to preach on this Mark text, Mark'ss a rather interesting storytelling of the story of resurrection. Because if you know anything about Mark's gospel, the original ending of the story of Mark of the Gospel of Mark ends right after the verse from our Gospel reading, "that the women were terrified and told no one." If there was a blockbuster telling of the story of Jesus, I feel like Mark's gospel would be it it ends with this giant cliffhanger that the women tell no one and run away, terrified and afraid. But here's the genius of Mark's gospel, because then mark invites us into the storytelling, because we wouldn't be here on Zoom and Facebook Live. If someone hadn't told somebody about the good news of the resurrection.
You see, just as much as it was terrifying and amazing, and a surprise. It's also about the proclamation of the good news to us and to others. And so we know that Jesus went ahead of them to meet them in Galilee, we know that they to the first Proclaimers of the good news, the women mind you were the first preachers of the good news. They told somebody, because we're all here celebrating the joy of Christ's resurrection.
And so maybe this year, as we reflect on this experience for us, in the midst of this pandemic, has been one of amazement and terror and, and bewilderment. Because life has changed for us, so dramatically. And as we walked through the events of Holy Week, I, I couldn't help but sense that we to grieve the loss of the things as they were. And there is so much this year that we have missed out on and missed, celebrating together. For us, life has changed. And for the disciples, life had changed as they knew it as well. Christ is risen. God is on the loose in the world, and that fundamentally changes how they understand God at work. No longer is God bound by death. No longer are we bound by death. For we have been liberated by the power of Christ's surprising and Amazing love for us all.
As I think about this experience that we've had here this year, in light of the pandemic, I begin, I have been beginning to ask people in our community, how have we been resurrected by this experience? How have we changed and become new? How have we experienced the power of resurrection and I see that in little, little ways and big ways. Little ways, like we've learned that we can connect to a wider community than we ever thought possible. You know, God on the loose on the interwebs is so much bigger and grander than we could have ever imagined. We had to get outside of the box out of the out of the tomb, so to speak, and, and realize that our message of salvation and good news could be for all people.
We learned that Jesus, in fact goes ahead of us to meet us even in our fear and amazement to Galilee. The Galilee is symbolic language for those disciples. And let me interpret that a little bit for you. But Galilee, Galilee was the place where all of the ministry of Jesus happened. Where Jesus fed the crowds, where Jesus healed the lepers, where Jesus taught them about God's love for the first time. Jesus goes ahead of us, even in resurrection to me to us in those places of service and love for others. And so this year, we have had extraordinary ways were at the very beginning, we freaked out and said, Well, how are we ever going to serve others because we got to get together and we got to do things together in order to help other people. And we said, No, there's all kinds of extraordinary ways that we can, can help others and come together in the name of serving our neighbors in need. Y'all, it was like, experienced Jesus resurrected, who went ahead of us to prepare the way for us. And now, I think about all the ways that we continue to focus on helping others in our community connect into helping and serving our neighbors in need, doing service projects at home and, and and partnering with people who are members of our community and members who are members of our wider community as well.
All of the ways that Jesus resurrected, shows up and reminds us that we are people of life, people of the resurrection. And so as we continue to lean into the dawn of a new day, in our country, and in our world of hope on the horizon, I think it's a great time for us to celebrate this powerful message of good news, that Christ continues to bring us to new life. And as we continue to lean into that new life in our world today, we celebrate joyfully and say, Alleulia, Christ is risen. He is risen indeed, Alleulia. That proclamation of good news for us means that this pandemic will not define us but re imagine us. And so maybe, perhaps maybe even as difficult as this ordeal has been for us, we are being resurrected to new life, for the church to be a more meaningful presence in people's lives in ways that that meets their needs and a new day and in a new way. It's the power of resurrection.
And so, we say, joyfully, loudly, Alleulia, Christ is risen. He has Risen Indeed
Alleulia, Christ is risen He has Risen Indeed, Alleulia Christ is risen. He has Risen Indeed, Alleluia! Amen.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai