|Pentecost 12, Year B, Jonathan Myrick Daniels Commemoration||August 16, 2015||Pentecost 12, Proper 15||Proverbs 4:20-27, Psalm 85:7-13, Galatians 3:22-28, Luke 1:46-55|
|Pentecost 11, Year B||August 9, 2015||Proper 14, Year B||Ephesians 4:25-5:2|
|Pentecost 10, Year B||August 2, 2015||Proper 13, Year B||Ephesians 4:-16, John 6:24-35|
|Pentecost 8, Year B||July 19, 2015||Proper 11, Year B||Psalm 23, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56|
|Pentecost 7, Year B||July 12, 2015||Pentecost 7, Year B||Ephesians 1:3-14|
|Pentecost 6, Year B||July 5, 2015||Proper 9, Year B||Ezekiel 2:1-5, 2 Corinthians 13:3-10, Mark 6:1-13|
|Pentecost 5, Year B||June 28, 2015||Proper 8, Year B||Mark 5:21-43, Psalm 30|
|Pentecost 4, Year B||June 21, 2015||Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 7, Year B||2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41|
|Pentecost 3, Year B||June 14, 2015||The Third Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 6||2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17; Mark 4:26-34|
|Pentecost 2, Year B||June 7, 2015||The Second Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 5||Genesis 3:8-15, Ps 130, 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1, Mark 3:20-35|
|Pentecost 1, Year B -Trinity Sunday||May 31, 2015||Pentecost 1, Year B, Trinity Sunday||Isaiah 6:1-8,Psalm 29,Romans 8:12-17,John 3:1-17|
|Easter 7, Year B||May 17, 2015||Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B||John 17:6-19|
|Easter 6, Rogation Sunday, Year B||May 10, 2015||Sixth Sunday of Easter, Rogation Sunday||Deuteronomy 11:10-15, Mark 4:26-32|
|Easter 4, Year B||April 26, 2015||Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B||I John 3:16-24, John 10:11-18|
|Easter 2, Year B||April 12, 2015||Second Sunday of Easter, Year B||Acts 4:32-25, Ps 133, John 20:19-31|
Sermon Date:April 5, 2015
Scripture: Mark 16:1-8
Liturgy Calendar: Easter, Year B
"Holy Women at Christ’ s Tomb"-Annibale Carracci (1590’s)
Those of us of a certain age may remember the TV show popular back in the late 60’s—Dragnet, starring Detective Joe Friday.
“Just the facts, ma’am.”
And that’s exactly what we get from Mark about the resurrection.
Just the facts, with no embellishments and no attempts to explain the facts.
Just the facts.
The facts are as follows, according to Mark.
Three women go to the tomb of Jesus on the first day of the week, carrying spices with them so that they can anoint the body of Jesus.
They know a large stone is against the door of the tomb, because they saw Joseph of Arimethea roll the stone against the door after he had laid Jesus’ body in the tomb.
This fact worries them. How will they move the stone?
But when they look up , they see that the stone, which is very large, has already been rolled back.
So they enter the tomb and find a young man sitting over to the right and they are alarmed.
And he says 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. But go tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee: there you will see him, just as he told you.”
The women run away because they are scared to death, and they keep their mouths shut, because they are full of fear.
Mark doesn’t tell us who rolled away the large stone from the door of the tomb. And Mark does not identify the young man, dressed in white, sitting in the tomb.
But Mark does answer our most important question. And that is what has happened to Jesus.
He has been raised. He is not here.
And Mark even tells us where Jesus is. The young man says to the women, “He is going ahead of you to Galilee, there you will see him, just as he told you.”
At this point, Joe Friday, if he had been at the tomb with the women, would have jotted this information down, tucked his handy pen and notepad into his jacket pocket, and then he would have jumped in his unmarked police car, stopped by to fill in the other disciples and no doubt would have had some questions for them.
And then Joe Friday would have headed for Galilee—because that’s where he’d find this Jesus and get to the bottom of this story.
To me, the most surprising thing about Mark’s story is that Jesus has gone back to where it all started, back to where he and the disciples and his friends had all lived and worked and traveled around together—Galilee, where Jesus had healed people, and fed people and taught people to love and to forgive one another—Jesus has gone back to Galilee.
Jesus is waiting for us, too, in our day to day lives. We Christians can so easily take this fact for granted.
But the fact is that Jesus is with us in Galilee, Galilee being the stuff of daily life. Jesus, our Risen Lord, is with us around our kitchen tables, sitting with us at our computers, riding along on our tractors, present as we drive through congested traffic, walking down school hallways with us. No matter where we are, or what we are doing, our Risen Lord is there.
Jesus goes ahead of us into all of the unexpected places and hard places where we have to go in our lives. Jesus is already there when we find ourselves in places like the ICU, waiting and watching as a beloved family member struggles to hold onto life.
Jesus is already there when we find ourselves no longer able to do the things we want or need to do. Jesus is already waiting for us when we have to leave behind one Galilee in our lives for another.
So often we think that we have to go somewhere besides where we are to find Jesus. Some people go on pilgrimages to search for God and for answers in faraway places like Jerusalem, Rome, Iona, or any of the numerous holy places that cover the earth.
But the good news is that the Risen Lord is waiting for us here and now, right where we are.
Jesus is known to us every time we break bread and drink wine here together.
And our Risen Lord will be go with us and will be waiting for us when we return home after this service—waiting for us.
Easter Day is a reminder for us to SEE Him at work in our day to day lives. “There you will see him,” said the young man to the frightened women, “just as he has told you.”
Many of you may have read this article in the Free Lance- Star yesterday by Meghann Cotter, a young woman who is the executive director of Micah Ecumenical Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit that works with the community’s homeless population.
In the article she tells about being at a turning point in her life and wondering where God wanted her to be so that she could work in the lives of people in need.
We could say that Meghann was looking for her Galilee where she would find the Risen Lord in her work.
She imagined herself in Africa surrounded by happy children. Maybe God wanted her to join the Peace Corps.
She didn’t know exactly where she’d find Jesus or where she was supposed to be, and so she prayed this prayer.
“God, use me. Take my simple life and let me go into places that no one else wants to go.”
Meghann ended up working with the homeless right in Fredericksburg, the town where she’d grown up.
And she has found herself, in this familiar place, going into some dark, deep unfamiliar places. Meghann says that when we do God’s work, “the moments that are most likely to bring about the greatest change for good in the world will be the last places we want to be.”
Jesus must have felt this way as he carried his cross to Cavalry on the way to his death.
When we face death dealing moments in our own lives, and find ourselves in dark, deep unfamiliar places, the events of Easter Day remind us that Jesus is not hidden away in a tomb somewhere.
Jesus is with us, even in the valleys of the shadow of death that we must all someday traverse.
And the Risen Lord is here with us now, giving us the courage to go back to Galilee and to see God’s hand at work in the world around us, and to pitch in and go to work ourselves.
We have seen the Risen Lord.
Because he is with us and because he helps us, even our simple lives will make a positive difference in our little places in this world.
“Just the facts, ma’am.”
He is not here, he has been raised….he is going ahead of us to Galilee; there we will see him, just as he has told us.
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Resource: The Free Lance-Star, April 4, 2015. “God puts us where He wants us to be.” Word on the Street. By Meghann Cotter.