Mary stood weeping outside of the tomb…Jesus said to her, “woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for”, 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).
John 21: 11a, 15-16 (NRSV)
Emergence of the Unimaginable
Easter is more than a day! It is an entire season of 50 days to celebrate the unimaginable… that new life triumphs over death…Christ is alive and dwells with us! One year ago, I did not imagine that rather than gathering in person to exuberantly sing of the resurrection, we would still be worshipping via zoom and YouTube videos. I did not imagine that an extended time to re-think how we share the story of Messy Church in the USA would lead to a new Ambassador network and five new volunteer teams. I did not imagine that a global pandemic would create stronger bonds between Messy Church leaders throughout the world who are regularly gathering to learn from one another.
Resurrection is an emergence of something we hadn’t imaginedStephanie Evelyn McKellar
Mary did not recognize Jesus at the tomb on that first Easter morning until he spoke her name. Her grief burst into confusion and then joy as the unimaginable thought that Jesus was alive and walking beside her became real. Even in her joy, however, I believe that Mary continued to grieve what had been lost. Joy and grief mixed together as she was told that she could not physically reach out and touch the risen Jesus.
This story of Mary and the risen Jesus calls to mind that as we joyfully begin to emerge from the pandemic lockdown, that our lives as well as the world have changed. In our joy there is also grief. Many of us have lost loved ones to COVID or another illness. Many of us have lost our community as we have remained locked within our homes. We have not been able to gather with our neighbors or our church communities. Some or most of us have lost a sense of momentum in our local Messy Churches. We wonder how and when we will be able to start again meeting in person. Grieving what we have lost does not take away the joy of what is emerging. I wonder what will emerge over the next months that we are not able to imagine at this time?
Messy Easter Prayer
May we continue to listen to the voice of the risen Christ who calls our name and affirms our gifts of ministry. May we be have courage to imagine new possibilities and bring those dreams to reality through the leading of the Holy Spirit. May we also place our trust in the resurrection power of a God who is always creating something new. In the name of the risen Christ, may it be so. AMEN.
Grace and Peace, Roberta