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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Celebrate Easter {38 of 40 Stories}


Jesus is resurrected and we celebrate on Easter. I imagine the stone rolled away from the entrance of the tomb and how frantic Mary Magdalene must have felt early Sunday morning, when it was still dark and the tomb was empty.

Frantic and alone. There was no one else there, so she ran to get Peter and John. They inspected the empty tomb and in that moment many of Jesus' teachings snapped into place. They saw and believed. Then they went home.

Mary stood outside the tomb and cried. No longer frantic, but still alone, she wept and stooped down, looking into the tomb. Two angels greeted her and asked why she was crying. "Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

She turned to leave, but was stopped by a man who repeated the question of the angels. Mary thought he was the gardener. She gave the same answer and turned to continue on her way.

"Mary!" the man said.

She instantly recognized the voice of Jesus and turned to him in delight.

When Jesus died and rose again, he promised to send the Holy Spirit to live within us and  speak to us. Just like Mary recognized Jesus' voice then, we recognize the nudgings of the Holy Spirit. We know it is God. 

Jesus later appeared to the disciples when they were all together. All except one, that is. Thomas was missing and when Mary Magdalene and the disciples told him about seeing Jesus, he didn't believe them. Thomas said, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Eight days later Jesus appeared again and invited Thomas to put his fingers in the wound on his side.  Jesus said, "Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!"

Thomas exclaimed with excitement, "My Lord, my God!"


Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

I think the same is true for listening to the Holy Spirit. Too often, I wait until I see, waiting for proof, waiting to make sure I see things clearly and I end up missing the direction the Holy Spirit is leading.

We miss the mission because we are unsure of the unseen. 

Easter is about celebrating a living God. This Easter, I'm committing to following even when I don't see. I will cling to Jesus' words: Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.

This is how I will leap.