The Lord is Risen – be afraid

Happy Easter to you all!

Mark 16
The Resurrection
1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6″Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ “

8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

The women who found the empty tomb were trembling and bewildered.  They were afraid.

Why aren’t we?  Why doesn’t the thought that God has overcome death, that God has escaped, that God is on the loose, terrify us?

I didn’t go to church this morning.  Instead I watched church on TV.  I watched a Bishop in his fine robes in a magnificent cathedral read words, swing incense and celebrate communion with fine silver and gold.  I watched the people gathered in a circular square chant the name of a priest like they would chant the name of a rock star.  I saw him in his fine robes call on the balcony of his palace call for peace and an end to poverty.  I read news stories of a Bishop who wants football games banned on Easter Day, as though watching your team play is all that distracts people or puts them off church.

This week Jonathon asked what the Temple curtain being torn when Jesus died meant for us.  I replied ‘God is on the loose’.  God is not in our box.  God is not contained in our churches, out liturgies, our statements, our sacraments or our sermons.

God is on the loose.  That should be a gloriously terrifying thought.  Who knows where and when we might meet the risen Christ…

3 thoughts on “The Lord is Risen – be afraid”

  1. Great reminder, Stewart, right on!

    This is the Sunday that we were hoping for – a place of dangerous grace & lavish mercy.

    I was in tears this morning as we remembered the power of God that was demonstrated at the empty tomb. Such awesome power, yet every breath I breathe is mercy from a Holy & Forgiving God.

    What is this mercy I live in, this love that I trust? it is unravelling my world as I recognise my utter, complete dependance.

    I am afraid, and yet aware of the regenerating life that is rising up by the Holy Spirit.

    Mercy HAS triumphed over judgement!

  2. Interesting thoughts. Weirdly though, I don’t find the thought terrifying, but exciting and exhilarating. That God is ‘on the loose’ is, for me, a sign of hope, of renewal, and of death-defying promise, both now and in the future. Maybe I’m an anarchist (had to watch the spelling of that one) at heart, but I love the threat to culture and comfort that the risen Christ brings.
    Happy Easter.
    He is risen!

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