Summary: Sharing is the natural response when we experience good news.
I have found that I will seek any occasion, come up with any reason, find any excuse to tell you some story about the latest thing my children have done. The other night we were bathing the kids at the same time and it was a blast. The whole bathroom was soaked… with laughter… squeals, and just a little water. Jack decided that he really hadn’t had a bath without trying to get his entire head under the 3 inches of water. Of course I was right there and quickly pulled him out and sat him right which was met at first with a preparatory sob… letting me know that full screaming would quickly ensue, but it didn’t. It seemed that Emily got a kick out of our less than graceful recovery and began to laugh, which made Jack laugh, which then made Jack and Emily at the same time begin splashing and kicking and laughing and then laughing and kicking and splashing. It had to be the most fun I’d seen in years. It was more fun than Whitewater. If we would have known how much fun this was going to be we would’ve had kids years ago.
By the way did I tell you that I would seek any occasion to tell you about the latest thing my children have done. Now as of yet, I’ve bored most people and excited a few, and still no one has yet found fault with me or felt that it was inappropriate that I share so many details. In fact, most folks I’ve talked to seem to expect it…. You see, that is what you do with good news. You tell it. And if its really good news, you’ll tell almost anyone.
Throughout the ministry of Jesus people are so excited either by the work of healing or exorcism or prophecy or just Jesus’ presence that they tell everyone. In some cases, Jesus knows this may become a distraction and so he tells the one who has been redeemed to tell no one… but they never listen, because they’ve experienced good news.
I suppose it is our desire or even temptation to tell any kind of news: bad news, gossip, and tragedy…. So few of us can actually withhold news. So when we actually get good news, news that will bring joy at every telling, it is especially sweet to share. Let me tell you some good news about our church. The friendship kitchen is feeding more than a hundred people each week - good news. Generation Y is attended by nearly 40 students each week, many of them who have no other experience of church apart from this ministry – good news. The children’s choir gets larger each week – good news. The church’s needs are being met with a surplus – good news. Let me be specific, Carol Webb’s daughter Tiffany just had twins and now we’ve learned that her other daughter Theresa is going to have quadruplets. In just a few months Carol will have gone from no grandkids to 6 grandkids…. Is that good news?… Yes of course it is. That is why she told it.
And in our text today God calls Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus to tell some good news. Most of you know the story. You know of the dark days prior to this one. We call it good Friday in the church but that’s only because we have hindsight and when we read the story we know what’s coming. The women who stood by Jesus, and remember it was they that stood with Jesus when all the disciples, save John, left. The women did not know yet to consider it good Friday. Indeed Friday was dark and Saturday even darker. All their hopes were dashed. All Jesus power seemed helpless to save him. In fact, those words seem to hang in Mary Magdalene’s ears, “He saved others, he cannot save himself?” And why didn’t he? He could have saved himself. He could have silenced his critics. He could have called down the host of Heaven, or so He told Peter. So why didn’t he?
These women do not stand where we stand they do not know what we know. The truth is that they don’t understand all that has happened and why everything they had believed in had seemed to fail. Yet they act… in faith. They remain with Jesus through the most horrible moments and its not the 12 who are going early to the tomb that first Easter morning. They go and they act… in faith. And really that is what faith is, believing, hoping, and serving even when you don’t know or understand.
And somehow for some reason God seems to honor that kind of faith. So the first persons to met with the good news that day is not Peter, the rock upon which Jesus would build his church, and its not James and John the sons of thunder, and its not even James the brother of Christ. It’s the persons whose faith was manifested in the darkest hour. It was the women who did not know the plan and could not map the course of God but still trusted. And so the good news they are met with that day is not a superficial fix or some revisionist reinterpretation. They are not met with a spiritual band-aid. They are met with the work of God accomplished by God.