Easter begins as an idle tale.
I love so many different parts of today's gospel reading. The story starts during the early dawn. Dawn, which is the breaking of day, isn't enough for this story. The story starts at early dawn, when the light first begins to fill the night sky. Several woman, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, the mother of James, and others, are carrying spices to the tomb where Jesus is buried. When Jesus died, they were not able to properly bury him because the sabbath (the holy day set apart for God and a day when no work is done) was about to come. So the women return once the sabbath is over to complete the process. As they near the tomb, retracing steps they took just a few days before, sunlight begins to show them something unexpected: the door to Jesus' tomb is open.
When the women rush back to their friends, the apostles don't believe a word they say. The story seems ridiculous. They saw Jesus killed by the Romans. They buried him in a large stone tomb. Jesus was gone. The 11 and others were gathered together, trying to figure out what to do next. When these women showed up, with their tale about an empty tomb and men in pure white, they weren't believed. Even when Peter runs to the tomb, he's amazed but he doesn't tell anyone what he saw. Instead, the first sharing of Jesus' resurrection remains what it was first: an idle tell.
But this unbelievable tale couldn't stop being told. And we keep proclaiming it today. Jesus, God's own Son, lived a human life. He cried when he was a baby. He ran away from home. He grew up to call the poor, the working class, and the undesirables as friends. And when the Roman Empire convicted him and killed him like he was just some lowlife criminal, he hung on that cross with his arms open and welcoming all. The unbelievable tale isn't only that Jesus was raised from the dead. The unbelievable tale is that God wants a relationship with you and with me. Jesus isn't in the tomb. He's here, among the living. So let's seek out and keep sharing this idle tale and find Jesus in everyone around us.
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