The power of Jesus’ resurrection compelled his followers and witnesses alike to share their stories of new life. During the season of Easter, share your stories and be inspired by others’ experiences of resurrection using author Max Lucado’s book, "His Name Is Jesus."
April 8: John Stayed Close By
Could there have been a greater tragedy for John than a dead Jesus? Three years earlier John had turned his back on his career and cast his lot with this Nazarene carpenter. Earlier in the week John had enjoyed a ticker-tape parade as Jesus and the disciples entered Jerusalem. Oh, how quickly things had turned! The people who had called him king on Sunday called for his death the following Friday. These linens were a tangible reminder that his friend and his future were wrapped in cloth and sealed behind a rock.
John didn’t know on that Friday what you and I now know. He didn’t know that Friday’s tragedy would be Sunday’s triumph. John would later confess that he “did not yet understand from the Scriptures that Jesus must rise from the dead” (John 20:9 NCV).
Reflect on a time when you came to an understanding or acceptance of God’s movement in your life, only in hindsight. Who or what assisted in finding clarity? In what ways did/does your clarity of God’s presence help others understand or accept God’s movement in your life?
April 22: St. Paul’s Confirmation Students share their “All About Me” posters in the Parish Hall
April 29: Mary Magdalene at Jesus' Tomb
In the Louvre there is a painting of the scene of the cross. In the painting the stars are dead and the world is wrapped in darkness. In the shadows there is a kneeling form. It is Mary. She is holding her hands and lips against the bleeding feet of the Christ.
We don’t know if Mary did that, but we know she could have. She was there. She was there to hold her arm around the shoulder of Mary the mother of Jesus. She was there to close his eyes. She was there.
So it’s not surprising that she wants to be there again. In the early morning mist she arises from her mat, takes her spices and aloes, and leaves her house, past the Gate of Gennath and up to the hillside. She anticipates a somber task. By now the body will be swollen. His face will be white. Death’s odor will be pungent. A gray sky gives way to gold as she walks up the narrow trail. As she rounds the final bend, she gasps. The rock in front of the grave is pushed back.
Reflect on a time when you felt like simply your presence conveyed God’s love. In what ways were you able to communicate love? How was that love perceived or received?
May 6: Reluctant During Christ's Life
Reluctant during Christ’s life but courageous at his death, Joseph and Nicodemus came to serve Jesus. They came to bury him. They ascended the hill bearing the burial clothing. Pilate had given his permission. Joseph of Arimathea had given a tomb. Nicodemus had brought the spices and linens. John states that Nicodemus brought seventy-five pounds of myrrh and aloes. The amount is worth noting, for such a quantity of burial ointments was typically used only for kings.
Reflect on a time(s) when reluctance gave way, and in its place, a picture of new life was revealed. What forces helped overcome your reluctance? How might we, as Christians, be called to help others through their journey with reluctance?