Easter... He is Risen!
After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow. The guards were shaken with fear of him
and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply, "Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.' Behold, I have told you."
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."
~ Matthew 28:1 - 10
Just days before, the Disciples, close friends and family watched as the one they knew looked to heaven upon a cross and declared "It is finished."
It's weird how just three words seem to change everything.
Today, the three words that are traveling throughout the world are, "He is risen!"
The consequences of both statements are the cornerstone of what the Christian faith is all about.
With Christ, a new ecclesiastical chapter has begun, and the news to those who saw and heard the news is that they had better get busy and get on the road to Galilee.
So many people forget that Christ was always on the move. The presence of God is within each of us, but our mission with God is not to sit back. We are the presence of living Christ and we have been called to go out and to share the good news with others that indeed, "He is Risen."
The living Christ's announcement is a verb, denoting action! It is filled with excitement and also new expectations. In many ways I have felt over the years that as many have become traditional Christmas and Easter patrons of the church (those that we lovingly call C & E'er's), we have forgotten that as the church, we don't sit back and wait for others to hear the news and then find their way to us. We must arise and go forth!
We are called to be the risen body of Christ, and like Christ years ago, we are being asked to go out into the world.
Easter remains an exciting time for me. I think of the journey that has been made through the season of Lent, and I hope that somewhere along this journey, I have once again sensed God's call and presence, while finding my faith being renewed.
May our living God keep YOU in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Today I rejoice with You, Lord, because today I am reminded that You cannot be held, even by death! Amen!
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.