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Friday, 23 April 2021
MATTHEW’S Gospel chapter 28, verse 1 hits us with a new intensity this year.
After the Sabbath, (the enforced day when no-one was allowed to go out and do any work), as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb.
How are you coping? For all of us life will have changed. Isolation, or the extra excessive workload, no work and devastated finances. I don’t know.
It is Easter for us this week. We remember how reality was changed.
We read how the desolated and heartbroken women had seen their hope shattered, their plans and vision turned upside down, their friend and leader, Jesus, dead and laid in a tomb. The Passover Sabbath meant they could not even tend his body as they wished.
Were they still holding on to something? Were they going to grieve together? They still turned up.
We are still in the middle of the coronavirus crisis and many other ripples and crises flowing out from it.
Holy Week was last week and the journey Jesus took in it shows us that God in Jesus is there right with us in all the lowest and most painful parts of life in this world. Even deep in death, with us.
We can share the feelings of giving up hope and being tempted to desert the cause. In reality it was only a few women and one man disciple who were still there at the cross — at a distance.
But Jesus kept going and did not try to avoid the crisis. He faced it head-on and whole-heart and life-on. And not without purpose.
This virus is not God’s will but he is able to work through it. He shows us that not even death can separate us from his loving purposes.
May we, like the women, keep turning up. May we find how God is able to redeem even this situation. There will be ongoing life. God will be teaching us and giving us something new.
The Cross, the symbol of suffering and pain and desolation, was not the end. It made an everlasting shift in reality. The terrified and broken disciples encountered the Risen Jesus and were able to go forward to share a new life and bring a new hope to the whole world.
May we comfort those who are broken. Let us pray for each of us to be part of the new reality, which is a gift given in Jesus, crucified and Risen.
“Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers and sister… they will see me.” (Matthew 28, v 10).
20 April 2020
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