On Saturday morning,
I headed to the post office to pay my taxes.
A car pulled out of the Shell gas station right in front of me.
My reaction was automatic. I was able to brake soon enough.
The other car drove away like nothing had happened.
I just sat there….my mind trying to comprehend the near collision.
My heart was racing.
In the moment I was afraid to move…thinking another driver with poor judgment
or who was unaware of their surroundings, or who was careless and impatient,
waited at the next driveway.
I sat there and asked myself: what just happened? What could have happened? Why did it happen?
I tried to pull the pieces together after the fact: rewind and play the event back in my head;
the emotions, the thoughts, the options available to me at that moment.
What am I going to choose to do now?
As the disciples and followers of Jesus encounter him risen from the dead
they were faced with an unexpected and unexplainable experience.
The Risen Christ appears and makes himself known to them.
Their minds and hearts try to put the pieces together: what is happening here?
They saw Jesus hanging dead on the cross. They saw his body put in the tomb.
He was dead. But now, somehow, he is alive.
Today, and through this week, as we hear their stories recounted,
we have to make an assessment ourselves:
Are the first disciples seeing things? Are the making the story up?
Are they conspiring in some way in order to deceive and/or retaliate against the Jews leaders?
To this day our faith as a Church, a community of believers,
is based upon how they interpreted what they saw and heard.
Our faith is an apostolic faith. It’s based upon what we have been told by the apostles.
Every year during this time we have to reconsider our position on the matter.
And if and when we join with the first disciples and say “I believe!”
…..what does this mean? What do I believe? Why?
And if “I believe” what does this mean for the living of my life?
What does this mean for how I see and understand the world?
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a shared experience:
how do I live together with other believers?
If “I believe” the Risen Lord lives….where does he live?
How does this event effect my desire to know the truth?
How does it play into my capacity for love?
What does it mean for human freedom?
In light of my belief, my faith in the Risen Lord, what is my purpose, my mission, my task?
On Ash Wednesday we left this church with the imprint of an ash cross on our foreheads.
A sign, a symbol of faith and belief.
As we leave church with Easter joy, what mark, what visible sign do we carry with us
to symbolize to the world “I believe”?
Our prayer today: “O Lord, on this day we sing Your praise and exalt in Your glory as we celebrate Your awe-inspiring activity in this world. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Your Son, You reveal to us Your power over death…. Your victory over the Ancient Foe. As we stand before and surrender to this mystery, help us to understand more fully the gift you have given to humanity. Amen!”
Monday in the Octave of Easter
On Saturday morning,