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March 2016

Pastor Points: Easter

“After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And 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. His appearance was like lightning, and His clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He has been raised, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then 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.’ 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 worshipped 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: 1-10 (New Revised Standard Version).

“As it began to dawn”----- this is how the King James Version of the Bible starts this passage. If you are an early riser like me, you know the time between the moon releasing its hold on the sky and the sun slowing peeking over the horizon. It’s a quiet time, a time for reflection. I am an early morning person, often getting up at six a.m. or earlier. On Sunday mornings in Lent, when I am up “as it begins to dawn,” I find myself reading, or recalling, Matthew’s version of this story, trying to recapture the miracle of resurrection in my own mind, in the same way Jesus’ mother and friend did on that first Easter. First, the utter feeling of sadness, knowing that their friend and teacher had been brutally executed on Friday. Then, as they approached the tomb, their fright at finding an angel of the Lord at the entrance, and their disbelief at what the angel was saying. Finally, they began to understand that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Imagine the feeling of awe and excitement these women must have felt when our risen Lord appeared before them and spoke to them. Sadness, fright, awe and excitement! Haven’t we all had those feelings at times, on our journey of faith? These are the feelings that capture the essence of Christ’s resurrection. As you come into our most holy of weeks, at the end of March, my hope for you is that you also can feel these emotions. I invite you to take advantage of our opportunities for worship during Holy Week, so when you come to the tomb on Easter morning you will feel the excitement that the two women felt so long ago. Easter is a time of new beginnings. May your lives be renewed through our Lord Jesus Christ on Easter.

Pastor Joyce

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