Thursday, April 05, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 16:1-8

When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. They had been saying to one another, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?' But when they looked they saw that the stone -- which was very big -- had already been rolled back. On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, 'There is no need to be so amazed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him. But you must go and tell his disciples and Peter, "He is going ahead of you to Galilee; that is where you will see him, just as he told you." ' And the women came out and ran away from the tomb because they were frightened out of their wits; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.


When is an ending not an ending? When it is the beginning. This is a beginning, an invitation to forever.

You do not appear in this story Jesus. You are missing in action. The Resurrection story is all about you, but you are not there.

The story ends with fearful people, who don’t know what is happening, being told to go find you, go where you may be found and known. Galilee is the name of the place.

It is the place where they began, where they first met you. You live there, and there they will know who you are, risen and alive, your risen nearness loving them and moving stones away from their lives that they, too, may live.

I want to live. I want the stone rolled away, the stone that holds me down, entombing my heart.

It’s name is failure, failure to be the soul you made me to be, failure to share the beauty, love and life that I can be at my very best but so seldom am, failure to connect with other hearts so that the goodness in them communes with the goodness in me, failure to find acceptance and connection with human hearts.

That’s my stone, and sometimes it is so heavy I can barely think and sleep flees.

There are other stones that trap human souls in the place of death, where joy does not come. Name your own. I need not try. You know them.

Our stones are the weight of the past and the fear of the future, the wounds and regrets we bear from long ago and that won’t let us go that we can breathe and feel freedom and peace, confidence and joy. They are the anxieties about the future that prevent us from living fully in the present moment.

Who will roll away the stone? What will roll away the stone? Only you, Lord, only the love that cannot be help captive, the love that is stronger than death.

And where do we find that? Only where you are, only where you live. And where is that? Galilee.

The messengers of the Resurrection send the fearful and trembling, the curious and the confused friends of Jesus back to Galilee, to the places where they were born, where they worked and sweated, lived and loved, fought and struggled to know joy.

There, in that common place, you live, Jesus. There, we know you as Lord of life whose love comes to us and removes the stones that entomb our hearts, there we meet you in the power and presence of a risen love that is new every morning and seeks us, whispering in our enslaved souls that our hunger for freedom, for the fullness of life and joy is not an illusion, not a fantasy but is the gift the risen Lord will give us … if we will go where he is, where he lives.

Go to Galilee, the places of our common lives. He lives there. You will see him.

The women flee the tomb and went to Jesus’ friends. They tell what they have seen. Then, the group goes into Galilee with eyes open and aching to see and be touched by a love that won’t quit, a love that moves stones away from human hearts and situations.

They go to meet Jesus. So must we, if we are to know the Resurrection of the One our hearts most need.

So keep your eyes open and your heart, too. For it is the heart that sees him. It is the heart’s hunger that pushes us to see Jesus living in the love that lifts human souls. It is the heart that keeps hoping and praying.

It is the heart that recognizes Jesus each time we feel the weight of stones being lifted from our heart, every time we feel ourselves being saved from sadness and brought to joy--such saving moments happen in the Galilees of our lives because Jesus is risen.

The end of the story is only the beginning of knowing and seeing him, forever.

He is Lord, and the love that is in him will fill you and all that is.

Pr. David L. Miller

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