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Woolston Eyes - the Magazine of the Church of the Ascension

Easter 2017
 

Revealing Resurrection

Last month I talked about retreating and laid a challenge before us all to find a way of retreating this Lent.  Now, as we come closer to Easter, we turn from retreating to revealing.  Revealing, in the sense that Jesus was revealed first to Mary Magdalene, and then to the disciples on the first Easter morning.  So, as we approach the end of a time of retreating during Lent, we will hopefully feel like we have been prepared.  But, prepared for what?  Jesus retreated to prepare for his earthly ministry; preparing to do the work of his Father.  Surely that can’t be what we have retreated for? Can it?  Really?  Perhaps if we had known that then we wouldn’t have retreated in the first place.

In the weeks, ahead we will be reminded of Jesus rising from the tomb and his revealing of himself to his closest friends.  We will also hear of the different reactions people had to Jesus as he revealed his resurrected self.  The two Mary’s left the tomb with feelings of “fear and great joy” (Matthew 28:8), and some rejoiced (John 20:20).  Of course, it is Thomas who is most famous for doubting (John 20:24-29).  In the time between Jesus crucifixion on Good Friday, and his resurrection on Easter Day, his closest friends would have retreated too.  This far less than forty days, but would have been a significant time of reflection none the less.  What I find most amazing is the reaction of Simon Peter and the other disciple.  They didn’t see Jesus, they just saw his empty linen wrappings in the tomb, but they believed, even though they didn’t fully understand the Scripture that said Jesus must rise from the dead.  They had faith. 

Coming to the end of our times of retreat (in whatever form that may have taken) during Lent, what is our reaction to Jesus’ rising from the dead?  Are we mixed with fear and joy, do we rejoice, or do we doubt?  The Easter story tells us that each of the disciples and Jesus’ friends were different, but each found a way to believe in his resurrection.  As we read on in Scripture, particularly in the Epistles (the books after the Gospels) we read how many of Jesus disciples and friends responded by sharing the Good News of his resurrection.  They each, in their own way, revealed the message of Jesus to others.  Each had an important role to play in furthering God’s Kingdom; in helping others to know of and believe in Jesus.

So, no matter what our initial reaction is to Jesus’ Easter resurrection, our time of retreat must come to an end.  We are called to action, and we will learn more about this as we approach Pentecost in a few months’ time.  What is certain though is that “He is risen” and we are called to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20). 

May you know the hope of the resurrection this Easter time. 

Rev. Rebecca







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