|Easter Sunday and the Church is alive. Death and grief are met with surprise and joy. Jesus is risen, and the world is put on notice.
The Gospel account found in John 20:1-18, begins in darkness with a stone that has been rolled away. This serves as a powerful reminder that God works in the darkness and is responsible for the light and joy that comes in the morning.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. Look, there was a great earthquake, for an angel from the Lord came down from heaven. Coming to the stone, he rolled it away and sat on it. Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow. The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him. Now hurry, go and tell his disciples, ‘He’s been raised from the dead. He’s going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ I’ve given the message to you.” -Matthew 28:1-7 (CEB)
As we gather again in community worship in the sanctuary or online, we proclaim in music and message that God is with us. Jesus is risen!
The Good News of new life is not only about Jesus. Yes, he is the way maker and miracle worker. Yes, because he lives, we can face tomorrow. The Good News we declare this Easter is that love and life overcome all obstacles before us. Our pain and challenges have lingered, yet we the Church will not retreat.
I am the Church;
You are the Church!
We are the Church together.
All who follow Jesus.
All around the world,
We are the Church together
-United Methodist Hymnal #558
Indeed, we are the Church. We are many kinds of people with many kinds of faces, with all colors and all ages, from all times and places.
We will not retreat, regardless of the obstacles before us, and 2020 brought many. God worked last year, even in the darkness. And I believe that he will bring more light and joy yet this year.
The world needs an Easter Church in 2021.
Bishop Julius C. Trimble
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church