Oakdale United Methodist Church
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Praise God, Love Others, Grow Spiritually, and Share Jesus!

From the Pastor

Reading the Easter story from Mark's Gospel, I can only imagine Mary Magdalene running back to the upper room where the disciples were hiding. She must have been scared out of her wits. She probably asked Peter to hold her, to just hold her. She was shaking so much.

 

Then she told the story. They had oils and spices, ointment jars. That's it. Their hands were full, but that's all they carried --nothing for themselves, all for the body of Jesus. It was Mary and Salome and Mary Magdalene. They went outside the city wall. The sun was just rising. Dew on the grass was white, so that they made three trails behind them. And they cast long shadows. They wanted to honor Jesus. They were going to touch him. They thought about the smell but didn't care.

 

Old Mary was crying. A discussion erupted about who could stop them. Mary Magdalene was adamant. No one was stopping her. But the stone was in front of the tomb. Mary Magdalene would roll it away. She was so mad she really thought she could do it alone. She didn't wait. She swept ahead with long strides, raging. Oh, she had such hate for the world and all things and God – But the stone was rolled back.

 

Listen! This very big stone, a very heavy stone, that no one could move themselves, was moved. Don't you see? The door to the tomb was open! All her feelings went right straight to fear. Something was wrong. She wasn't mad. She was panicking.

 

Listen! There was a young man in the tomb, dressed in white. But not Jesus! Jesus was not there!

 

This young man knew Mary Magdalene. She knew what she was doing there. She had never seen him before. Then he announced that Jesus had risen. Are you listening? Do you understand? He said risen!

 

She did not scream then, but she started to shake. Terror. Fear and wonder and love all mixed in one. Her body couldn't take it. Even telling Peter her body couldn't take it. But she believed. She stood on the spot where Jesus came back to life. That's so holy! That's so frightening! He wasn't the man she thought he was. He is the glory of God! Then she thought of how he loved her. How he loved her, Mary of Magdala who had seven devils once and no prospects, and it was enough that he loved me so long as he lived. Then he died and it was nothing. Think how terribly mighty that love must be to rise from the dead! He is risen! Holding her, Peter asked, "What now?"

 

Sincerely,

 

Pastor Michelle