Pastor’s Email Devotion
Easter Sunday Week
April 5, 2015
“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.” (Luke 24:1, NRSV)
I was at church a little earlier this morning, since first service started earlier. It was still dark in the way pre-dawn is dusky, as I parked behind the church sheds in order to free up one more parking spot for worshippers. As I walked across the parking lot, the lights that are on in the entry way to the narthex served to backlight the small garden on the west side of the carport. It was too dark to see any flowers or colors. But the light distinctly outlined the shape of the Francis of Assisi statue that stands in the middle of that small island of flowers. Although the silhouette allowed no detail to be seen, it was obvious what I was seeing. It felt like a momentary visual benediction for the start of a morning full of Easter worship centering on a garden tomb.
As I think about Easter morning on the day Jesus rose, I recognize that there is simply no way one can even try to imagine what that experience Easter morning at the tomb was like. The Gospels describe it as being early in the day, most say early dawn. Was it dusky like this morning was? Was the world cloaked in shadow, so that the God’s miraculous work could remain hidden from watchful eyes? Or was it simply a matter of no one really being there other than God and the angel(s)? Is there a character to the world when it stands at the threshold between night and day, that moment of transition which dawn brings to the world? Was there a mystic character to that day caused by the hand of God touching the world with such intimacy as to nurse God’s child back to life?
We’ll never know for sure, of course, unless that is one of the questions you will ask God upon your arrival in the Kingdom. (I will be more inclined to ask about aardvarks, and what the deal was in terms of God’s logic in creating those oddities.) But as you walk through the week ahead into the rest of your life, what you might consider bringing with you from the Easter morning story, is the power of our God to transform the world into something new … something you would have never envisioned for yourself. Allow the shadows and the breaking light of dawn to illumine godly benedictions for you, that you might not notice in the broad daylight or the utter darkness of night. Allow God to surprise you … allow God to bless you … allow God to grow your spirit of faith.
God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
~~ELW Alternative Prayer for Easter Day