That time when your church invites you, along with other laypersons, to write a Lenten devotional for one day in April. And you procrastinate on picking which day. And you get Easter Sunday. No pressure! You can follow the link to see the post, or read the text below.
At first, I was intimidated by the idea of writing the devotional for Easter Sunday – the big day, the reason for it all. Then I read the assigned scripture from the Gospel of John (John 20:1-18).
Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb, and she finds the stone removed and the tomb empty. Other disciples come to investigate too. When they see but do not understand, they return to their homes. But Mary remains and weeps. I can only imagine the deep sadness and grief and hopelessness she must be feeling in this moment. Yet it is in the midst of this despair that she encounters the Risen Christ. Jesus speaks to her and of all the things he could say to her, he says, “Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them.”
Go and tell! Go and tell others that you have experienced the Risen Christ. Go right now. Don’t wait until you know everything or until you understand everything, go now. Go and tell while you are still breathless from the experience. Go and tell.
So, I will not worry that I may not have the right words or that I do not know everything or that I do not understand everything. I have experienced the Risen Christ and I will ‘Go and Tell.’
Dear Loving and Faithful God –
Thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for resurrection and new life in and through Him. Please give us the courage to ‘Go and tell’ every time we experience You in the world.
In Jesus’ powerful name I pray,
Alleluia! and Amen.
John 20:1-18 Common English Bible (CEB)
Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him.” Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in. Following him, Simon Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus’ head. It wasn’t with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place. Then the other disciple, the one who arrived at the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. They didn’t yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying.
Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).
Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.