“[But] he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him.” (Mark 16:6)
It could be said that we as Canadians have the opportunity to view Easter from an enviable position. By making that statement, I am implying that by the very nature of our Canadian winter and its movement into Spring, we move through a cold, snowy, ground covered place of non-growth, to a time of springing forth, with warmth, new life, and “newness”. These are all words that speak the Easter language of “resurrection”.
Mark’s Gospel, presents us with a simplified version of the story of Jesus’, death and resurrection. Three women go to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body, wondering on the way how they will gain entrance to the tomb. When they arrive the stone is rolled away, and a young man in white shocks and surprises them from inside the tomb. Then he says the statement printed above. The women are instructed to go tell the disciples, but they flee in amazement and fear and tell no one. Then we have the possibility of two endings to the gospel. The shorter ending, has Jesus coming to his followers through the Holy Spirit to point the way to salvation. The longer ending, has Jesus making appearances to Mary Magdalene, two other disciples, then the eleven apostles, before his ascension to God, his Father. Beyond that the gospel writer encourages the followers to go to proclaim the Good News of Christ.
Most of us have at some time in our life, lost a loved one to death. Part of what we do as Christian people is to live into hope, the resurrection story. Stories of the “strength of aliveness” are resurrection stories. They are the desire to never, ever let someone’s life, live into complete deadness. We remember, we share, we love, and we care for the many people who are and were part of someone’s life. Such is the story of Easter. Yes, the body was gone, but the Spirit of Jesus lived on in “aliveness” amongst his followers and continues to do so to this very day amongst the many followers of the Christian faith.
I wholeheartedly invite you to come to church to engage in the stories of ministry from this man of God, named Jesus at this holy time of the year. The invitation is open to all, to engage in worship, through prayer, music, fellowship and word to attend to the wholeness of a spiritual life.
I also invite you to make an Easter offering to the church to assist in the ongoing ministry of the United Churches in Hastings and Roseneath.
Wishing you prayers and God’s blessing at this Easter time,
Rev Jamie York, Hastings Roseneath Pastoral Charge, The United Church of Canada
Office: 905-352-2000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.harpcharge.com