Easter: The catastrophe will pass With New Life

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John 20:1–18 The Resurrection of Jesus

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Message

As a metaphor for events of Easter Jesus was thrown into the fire & burnt on Good Friday.
Betrayed & abandoned by many. Left to the authorities who collaborated in power & did their worst.
Yet death did not stop Jesus. Our scripture reading today from the gospel of John is clear!
Jesus is not to be found among the dead but among the living. New Life has burst forth.
This is a changed Jesus. Still the Jesus of before but transformed. Had been through death and is now able to travel with the living.
That us!

Take heart Jesus understands human experience. We have seen him go through it all.
The highs & lows over this past week. The celebratory entrance into Jerusalem last Sunday.
A meal with friends serving them – Thursday. Betrayal – suffering & death – Friday
Jesus understands human experience.

The bushfire can also be a metaphor for our own lives. Hopefully none of us will ever have to go through what Jesus went through.
Although we can identify with times or situations in our own lives or those close to us or the world around us
that are times of approaching fire, thrown into the fire & being burnt. Then the aftermath.
Scared, bare, landscape with ash all around.

Then new life. Buds bursting forth. We are changed by the experience. Transformed A new person in many ways.

Leave the ash behind look for & embrace the new shoots in your life.

Prayers of Hope ...

... for ourselves, those dear to us or to the situation around us, locally, nationally or globally.
The hope of new life into those situations.

A time of prayer from the heart spoken or unspoken …

Conclude with…

God of new life, we pray that you will care tenderly for the life here.
We pray that the work we do will bring life to others beyond this place,
Especially in places where it is hard to survive.

We give thanks for the life we experience in each one of us
and we pray that the way we love and work together will encourage that life.

We are glad to be here with each other. Trying to care for each other,
Giving and receiving in a sharing of gifts and graces
that we may be a part of the transforming life of God.
Amen

Easter: New life blossom. Prayerful Colouring. Mark Hewitt