Moment for Mission
"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!' She turned and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rabbouni!' (which means Teacher)." – John 20:16, NRSV
All hope was lost. The body of Jesus was gone; Jesus, the one in whom Mary Magdalene and so many others had put their hope could not be found. The followers of Jesus laid down their nets, left their homes and families, and followed Jesus. Mary had followed Jesus all the way to the cross, all the way through his journey of suffering a humiliating death on a cross. She had come to attend to his body. Mary was still following Jesus. In her grief, Mary could not recognize the man in front of her. She mistook Jesus, the one she sought, for a gardener.
It was not until Jesus called her name that she was able to see him. Almost as soon as Jesus called her name, he had somewhere for Mary Magdalene to go and something to say. Mary was sent to tell the disciples all she had seen at the tomb that day, how she went ready to prepare a body for its final rest and instead heard and then saw Jesus.
Jesus' voice is calling still today, calling his church to tell the world that we have seen the Lord. We are called to demonstrate through word and deed that God's love for us will go to the depths of a tomb and overcome death to remain with us.
God of love, we are grateful for the gift of Jesus' love that included the laying down of his life, that overcame death and offers us life, freedom and hope today. Open our hearts that we might love and give as Jesus did, generously for the sake of work of God's reign today. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Resurrection of the Lord – Glorious God, we rejoice in Jesus' victory over death! You raised him up to live forever. He left behind his linen wrappings-- the shroud, his grave clothes. Robed in white, Christ leads us from darkness to light. Help us to follow him, leaving behind the things of our past that obscure our horizons. We dedicate these offerings as tokens of the breaking dawn of Christ. May our gratitude shine forth by joyfully giving of our earthly goods. Amen. (John 20:1-18)
During Advent and in Christmastide, we anticipate the arrival of Jesus in light of the Incarnation, the mystery that is Jesus, who is the nature of both God and human. We know without a doubt that Jesus is human as he enters the scene as a helpless human baby. Eastertide reminds us of the nature of God within Jesus and the power of love. Jesus overcame death because he was no ordinary human; he was also God. He was fully God and fully human.
Jesus' self-giving death on the cross was an act of love, demonstrating the power of love through the Resurrection. Jesus overcomes death by the power of love. That same power can set us free from sin, draw us together, and restore us into right relationship with God and one another. Jesus is alive and is calling us to share with the world the story of Jesus and the power of God's love on the cross and in our lives.