‘He has been raised from the dead, and see, he is on to Galilee ahead of you; there you all will see him.’ This is my message for you.”
– Matthew 28:7
Rejoice heavenly powers!
For three days Esther fasted and Judith kept vigil, the exiles came home from Jerusalem and the Hebrews marched to the bitter waters of Marah. For three days darkness afflicted the Egyptians, Hezekiah lay mortally ill, Jonah was entombed in the belly of a fish. And Saul who became Paul waited three days in blindness before he saw.
To say it differently, in all these stories God makes God’s home with us, God settles into the neighborhood, as The Message so familiarly says it. It means that God wrestled with Jacob and talked with Adam and Eve and Hagar.
It means Jesus knew a guy who had a donkey, a woman who was a pillar of the community and of faith. He knew someone with an upper room and a Pharisee that was just waiting to brave.He knew sickness and he knew death. He nurtured relationships in the neighborhood and saw earth tangle with heaven as it does every day and in every moment, every bush ablaze, whether we notice or not. He feasted and marched. He protested and built bridges. He made friends and allies. He laughed and he cried. He lived like he died that something new (and older than the hills) might come of it.
This night, of all nights, is a night to notice…and maybe to be just a little more brave for doing so.
Enter into worship[i].
Easter Vigil: Genesis 1:1–2, 26–27; 2:1–4 † Daniel (LXX) 3:52–60 † Genesis 21:2, 8–21 † Psalm 27:5–7, 10–14 † Genesis 21:2, 8–21 † Psalm 27:5–7, 10–14 † Exodus 14:26–29; 15:20–21 † Exodus 15:1–3, 11, 13, 17–18 † Joshua 2:1–14; 6:15–17, 22–23 † Wisdom 5:1–5; 6:6–7 † Judges 4:1–10, 23 † Judges 5:1, 4–7, 12, 24, 31 † 2 Kings 11:1–4, 10–12 † Psalm 9:1–2, 7–11, 13–14 † Judith 8:9–10, 32–34; 13:3–14, 17–18 † Judith 16:1–6, 13 † Acts 16:13–15 † Matthew 28:1–10 [ii]
[i] Easter Tree. Received in personal email. Origin uncertain.
[ii] Gafney, Wilda C.. A Women's Lectionary for the Whole Church (pp. 241-259). Church Publishing Incorporated. Kindle Edition.
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