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Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (April 2013)

posted Apr 10, 2013, 8:18 AM by Pastor Russ Crouthamel

"Jesus 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. " Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!"... [Jesus said,] "Go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her." ~ John 20:15-18

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!

Alleluia! Amen!

According to John's gospel Mary was the first witness to the resurrected Jesus. After realizing that he was standing before her, alive and whole, I am sure she wanted to stay there with him. I believe she probably wanted to stay in that moment to hold onto the present reality that he was no longer dead and buried, but was living, breathing flesh. Nevertheless, Jesus told her not to hold onto him. Instead, he commissioned her to tell his disciples what she had seen and heard. So Mary leaves the tomb, runs to the disciples, proclaims "I have seen the Lord!", and gives her witness to Jesus' resurrection.

What do you "hold onto" in life? There are many things that we, as humans, hold onto - both the good and the not so good. We can all hold onto anger, resentment and frustration. We can hold onto bad habits or forms of living. We can hold onto a relationship that has run its course. We can hold onto the way "things used to be." We can hold onto memories. We can hold onto our families and friends. We can hold onto our places of worship and church families. We can hold onto anger towards God. We can hold onto our love for God and God's love for us. We can even hold onto our personal time with Christ.

Nevertheless, we are people of the resurrection! We have been transformed by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ through the waters of baptism. The power of Christ's resurrection calls us to live a new way of life. That means we are to let go of pasts hurts, anger, and resentments to live lives of forgiveness and love towards one another. The power of Christ's resurrection calls us out of our places of personal interaction with God in Christ and into the world. Although it is a good and right thing to come to worship to be fed with Word and Sacrament; to spend personal time in prayer and devotion; and to come together for the study of Scriptures and table fellowship, we have a calling to go out into the world. That means we are to leave the places we gather as the Body of Christ - to let go of those moments - so that we can go into the world to serve the Lord... to proclaim the good news of God's grace and love one another in truth and action. The power of Christ's resurrection reminds us that we are a part of a greater family - children of God and fellow brothers and sisters to Jesus Christ. That means we are called out of our own personal relationships to care for all of God's children.

Christ our Lord is Risen! You too have been raised to new life in the present and given the promise of the risen life in the world to come! This new life means we are to let go of the sin that turns us from God and one another to live in the power of Christ's love and forgiveness. This new life means we are to leave our safe places of worship, devotion, and fellowship to go into the world to serve God's people. This new life calls us to share the good news of Christ's life, death and resurrection with all God's creatures!

May you have a joyful and blessed Easter!

In Christ ~ Pastor Maureen