No way they’re gonna believe us! We can imagine this was part of the women’s conversation while they ran from the tomb to tell the disciples that Easter morning. And in this year’s gospel text for Easter (Luke 24:1-12), the disciples don’t. It takes time, and discovery, and reflection.
More and more, we live in a show me world. We expect to see it, if it’s real. Skepticism and distrust rule; faith based on past promises is pushed aside. Today, we’d expect Mary and the others to use their phones to send real-time images of the angels inside the tomb saying He is not here, but has risen, while they pointed to the empty space where Jesus’ body had lain.
But if we don’t see it…what realities of God’s presence could we be missing?
The resurrection announcement calls for faith, and for hope. They are the only way to receive it. Even an empty tomb would not be enough to prove the good news. The disciples had to work it through, make further discoveries of his life with them, reflect on the nature of the promises of scripture he’d talked about. Only then did the reality of the new life really bubble up within them, as they shared the days and weeks after that Easter dawn.
Ours is a hard, hurt world. We have no need of more evidence of that, knowing the pain that has been suffered by members of our church family, and hearing the daily news. It must be that God understands when we are doubtful, when we seek more proof of the power of resurrection. But our calling as the church is to lift up faith and hope, even when the world seems to be forgetting that there is so much reality that can’t be captured on camera.
We need to bring faith, and hope, to Easter. They are the only way to receive it. Only by working it through, reflecting on the promises in God’s word, and (especially) sharing the actions together which represent good news – can we live in Easter’s reality.
Whatever the conditions of our lives and our world as this Holy Week approaches, bring what faith and hope you can muster and plan to be part of our church’s activities. Do you have a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker who needs a community to help rekindle their own belief in life’s ultimate goodness? BE SURE TO INVITE THEM.
We will sing our glad ALLELUIAS together.