Christ is risen – he is risen indeed.
Reading: John 20:11-18
Mary stood crying outside the tomb. While she was still crying, she bent over and looked in the tomb (12) and saw two angels there dressed in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and the other at the feet. (13) ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ they asked her. She answered, ‘They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!’
(14) Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing there; but she did not know that it was Jesus.
(15) ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ Jesus asked her. ‘Who is it that you are looking for?’
She thought he was the gardener, so she said to him, ‘If you took him away, sir, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’
(16) Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned toward him and said in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (This means ‘Teacher.’)
(17) ‘Do not hold on to me,’ Jesus told her, ‘because I have not yet gone back up to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am returning to him who is my Father and their Father, my God and their God.’
(18) So Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and related to them what he had told her. (Good News Bible)
‘The day of resurrection, earth, tell it all abroad;
… for Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.’
But wait. Why are you crying?
A lost loved one? A lost opportunity? A failed relationship? Are you afraid of something or someone? Do you feel helpless and alone?
Trevor Hudson reminds us ‘that each person you see … sits next to his or her own pool of tears.’ You are not the only one crying today. You are not alone in your tears.
Mary, too, was crying, and she tried to fix everything, as we do: ‘tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’
But there is so much that cannot be fixed, however many times we go over what we did; however many times we cry, ‘If only ….’
But what if the empty tomb was not a sign of loss but of life? What if our pain could be transformed into healing for others? What if others could find hope because of what we have experienced?
Jesus calls us by name today. And he sends us out to his brothers and sisters – our brothers and sisters, our parents and children, our neighbours, friends and enemies. He asks us to tell them that his Father is their Father, that his God is their God. We are not alone; we belong to the Father and we belong to each other.
We were never meant to keep the tomb filled with our pain and hurt and fears and anger. It was meant to burst open and to fill the world with light and love and hope.
The Lord is risen – he is risen indeed!
Thank you, Lord, for the hope of this day.
Thank you that our tears and the tears of the world do not have the final say.
Help us to discover, in the place of our hurt and loss and suffering, an opportunity to bring hope and love to the world around us.
Help us, today, to call someone by name, to reach into their tears and give them hope.
This meditation was written for the Prestbury Methodist Church Lenten Diary. A collaborative project, with various members of the church writing meditations for each day of Lent around a given theme. See HERE for Easter Saturday and past years’ contributions.