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A message of Easter

From Reverend Stephen Webb First Presbyterian Church  of Donalsonville

The Resurrection Run 

That is what I call the opening scene in the Easter story in John. The Resurrection run starts with Mary Magdalene who goes to the tomb and finds the stone rolled away. Then she runs to find Peter and the other disciple (possibly John), the gospel writer  himself.  Those two men respond by joining the Resurrection run, and  we even have reported who won the race. “The two were running together, but the other disciple not Peter ran ahead and reached the tomb first.”  (John 20:4) If I am John, and I write the Gospel, I win the race!

Suddenly a shift occurs. The two disciples left the scene but Mary Magdalene just stood weeping outside the tomb.

Mary stops running!

That is not as easy to do as it sounds. We live in a world and culture that is dominated by running.  Listen to our daily language:

I’m running some errands. 

I’m running to work.

I’m running home.

I’m running to the store.

I’m running up to the church. 

I’m running to pick up the kids.

I’ll run by your house.

I’m  running to the Post Office. 

My imagination is running wild. 

My mind is racing.

My emotions  are running away.

Running describes us
 . . . We are running  to or running from.

But Mary stops running. Mary stays at the tomb and is weeping and that is when

Easter calls her name. 

“Jesus said to her, Mary.”

When Easter calls your name, you discover the treasure you seek is buried in the place you are standing.  Because she stopped running and stayed right there in her tears, Mary heard Easter call her name. Mary was herself resurrected by the Risen Lord. When the resurrected one meets us right where we are, even if we are weeping on a grave like Mary, I can tell you that from that moment  forward on the day of the worst event in our lives, the resurrection stands beside us.

I thank God He calls us by name, and I pray that you will stop running when He calls yours.  He may call you audibly, through the Scripture reading, through a sermon, through the words in a song, hymn or prayer. Listen today as Easter calls your name.

How does He call your name?  Albert Schweitzer says it this way in his book, In Quest of Jesus: “He comes to us as one unknown, without a name as of old, by the lake side on the shore we who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same word, ‘follow me!’ and sets us to the task which He has for our time.  And to those who obey Him, whether they be simple or wise, He will reveal Himself in the joys, the conflicts, the sufferings . . . they . . . pass through, and they shall learn in their heart who He is”.

That is what happened to Mary.  The Risen Christ revealed Himself to her in the garden when she stopped running.

Are you still running?  Would you stop and listen as Easter calls your name? 

Grace and peace, 

Brother Stephen.

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