Summary: Easter comes and goes too fast...The culture moves on to the next celebration instead of experiencing Easter in a full way.
Have I seen you before?
We are picking up the Easter story again this week. For us Easter is pretty much over. The stores have the clearance tables filled with chocolate bunnies, peeps, Easter baskets and stuffed animals. They are clearing off the shelves for new stuff; I guess suffer, out door summer stuff.
Today we move so fast between seasons and subjects. Yesterday’s news is quickly forgotten as we move on to what ever is happening today no matter how trivial…
We rarely savor an event for very long before we change the channels of our focus to the next event.
I am a little afraid that Christians just go along with the rest of culture. Christmas has this huge commercial build up and disappears in just a couple of seeks. Easter is less commercial so it seems to just come and go in the matter of days. I have a problem with that.
--- Easter is the celebration of the core proof of our faith. It is a big deal.
Christmas is a celebration of God breaking into this world with the cry of a baby.
Easter is the story of Jesus changing from a human being with all physical limitation and normal experiences into the divine. This change is our understanding of our God that has walked in our sandals. How can we let that hit a peak and be gone in a week.
The disciples Easter experience was a little slower and perhaps even less sure than the way we make it today.
Last Sunday we were reminded of the good news of Christ resurrection according to John; He tells of Mary Madeline going to the tomb and making the discovery, she tells Peter and John who confirm it is empty and it says they did not yet remember that his mystery was foretold in scripture.
To me that means that they did not get it! A horrible event had taken a strange turn. Someone had stolen the body of Jesus Christ.
The men leave thinking WHAT NEXT?
Mary hangs around and talks to a couple of angels and bumps into Jesus who sends a message that he has been raised for the dead to His disciples.
Today’s reading jumps to evening. It is likely that the followers of Jesus had pretty much stayed out of sight all day. They may have stayed together in this room or they may have been spread across the city and gathered together as evening came.
If they moved through they city that probably tried to disguise their Galilean clothing, and maybe even hid their faces like common criminals.
They were, according to the scriptures, afraid of the Jewish authorities.
All we really know is that they were gathered together possibly in the same upper room that was used for their Passover meal. We read that the door was locked, if there are windows they are probably closed by shutters of some kind of drape to give as much privacy as possible. The room would be pretty dark with only oil lamps and candles . - Instead of an intimate warm feeling, the dimness probably matches their mood.
I imagine that any talking is done is soft tones and whispers.
I imagine that the sounds of grief and pain would be heard in the sound of crying and moans.
Everyone is listening for voices and foot steps outside, not with expectation, but with absolute fear of being found by the authorities.
Mary saw Jesus, He was alive…No not a dream she was wide awake, she said she was wide awake. She said he talked to her. She saw him in the garden outside the tomb. It was daylight….Well I suppose she could have been mistaken or wishful thinking…
Shhh did you hear something?
Can you imagine, they are away from their familiar territory in a city crowded with worshipers. Their teacher was killed because he was accused of being a king. All they things that they thought might happen suddenly vaporized.
And the situation was not over. Their teacher is dead and the rumor around the market place is that the authorities and telling everyone that they, the disciples ,had stolen the body…..That can’t be a comfortable news.
Can you imagine how that felt?
Being really scared that at any moment you would be dragged off to prison and a rigged trial.
This information about Jesus that Mary brought, I would be hard to find any real comfort in that. It sounded like wishful thinking. It sounded like some kind of delusion.
It really did not ease the fear of getting caught.
For them Easter had not come on that morning.
They are still in the dark physically and emotionally.
-- I wonder why they were holding up in that room in the first place. I suppose it was a way of grieving together, comforting each other. Maybe they felt safer in a group.