20 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. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed
Matthew 18:20 NRSV
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
Christ is risen! Our Lenten waiting concludes. Our season of preparation and inward reflection closes as we receive the astounding news of resurrection. Mary goes to the tomb expecting to pay her respects and finish the burial of Jesus. She is shocked by what she finds: the tomb is open, Jesus is not there. After telling Peter, who runs to the tomb with John (the disciple who gets there first), a dawning belief floods the emerging day.
What Jesus had foretold about himself has come to pass. The world is no longer the same for these disciples. Confronted with resurrection their faith, like ours, is undoubtedly filled with wonder, questions, excitement, uncertainty and an overwhelming sense that God is up to something. Perhaps they began to remember the teaching of Jesus, where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Christ is present where two or more gather to remember, share, honor, pray and live in the way of Jesus.
On Easter we celebrate the presence of the risen Christ, no longer bound by time or place. He is accessible to every one of us. We come to be in the presence of the Christ who nurtures our faith and belief and helps us to understand what God can do in our lives and in our world. May we learn to look and believe as this disciple did, discovering the astounding work of God in our midst. May we notice today how Christ is already with us and offers us the gifts and strength of God’s powerful love that today makes us new. May our Easter be filled with Alleluias and thanksgiving to God as we live in the new reality of faith that changes us and all the ways we relate to God’s world around us.
Prayer: Astounding God, bring us into your resurrection life that blesses and changes us, our believing, our living and our understanding of you. May we become this day a new creation in Jesus Christ, whose presence will not leave us. Amen.
Pastor Dave Summers