May 2019

Post date: Apr 29, 2019 6:50:47 PM

Dear Friends in Christ,

During the whole month of May this year we are in the season of Easter in the church year. The greatest news ever of the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus is too big to be confined to one Sunday. So in the church we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus for a 7 full weeks, a week of weeks: 49 days—clear up until Pentecost on the 50th day after Easter. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! We keep on saying that life changing good news for 7 Sundays. Truth be told, it is never inappropriate to say “Christ is risen!” since every Sunday is a “little Easter”: a little celebration of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin and death for us.

One option for the actual day of Easter is to read the resurrection account of Jesus from the Gospel of John. We chose to go with Jesus’ resurrection account from the Gospel of Luke, since it is the year of Luke. But the resurrection of Jesus found in John 20:1-18 is rich and I greatly encourage you to read it again, if you have not already done so. John’s account tells of Mary Magdalene going to the tomb on that Sunday, while it is still dark and finding the stone rolled away. She runs to tell the disciples, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Peter and John run to the tomb and find the linen wrappings lying there. Scripture says John “saw and believed”, but also “for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.”

But Mary Magdalene stands weeping outside the tomb and sees two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying. They ask her why she is weeping. Then she turns around and sees someone whom she supposes to be the gardener. She asks him if he has carried away the body and if so, where has he laid him. Then “the gardener”, aka the risen Jesus, calls her by name,” Mary.” Her eyes fly open in recognition and she exclaims, “Teacher!” Jesus then tells her to “go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary runs to the disciples and says to them, “I have seen the Lord” and she tells them what Jesus told her.

For this reason Mary Magdalene is often called “The Apostle to the Apostles”. Apostle means one who is sent out: one who is sent forth. Jesus sent Mary forth to tell the other apostles about his resurrection from the dead and she did. The apostles were then sent out to share the great news with everyone they could and they did. Mary Magdalene: Apostle to the Apostles.

The witness of Mary Magdalene is another good reason to keep on celebrating the resurrection of Jesus for a full 7 weeks in the church year, and really for every week after that. We are not Mary Magdalene nor among the original 12 apostles. But the risen Jesus does send us all forth to share with others the great news of his resurrection and the love of God for all people.

“Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!”

Pastor Dennis