“Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised… Go, tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” – Mark 16: 1-8
The Theme for our Easter Season series is “Just as He Told You”. The subtitle of this series could be “When in Doubt, Read the Instructions!” Jesus’ time with his disciples was short. But from the beginning he began to prepare them to continue his ministry once he was no longer with them. This Easter season we will encounter teachings of Jesus that end up coming in handy as the early church struggles and thrives… ultimately handing on the instructions to us. What will we do with them?
We are continually reminded that our faith journey is not one that is built on a system of beliefs. We read, tell and retell the stories of Jesus’ life death and resurrection not so that we will imprint them in a belief system that operates for us as one that knows that George Washington was the first President of the United States of America or that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was killed in the midst of the fight for Civil Rights in the 1960’s.
Rather, we tell and retell the stories to inspire us to follow a way of living, to build a world view that inspires us to live our lives “seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly”, not for our own well-being, but for the well-being of all creation. It is a world view that celebrates the lives and commitments of thousands of people who gave their lives and their livelihoods to build the promise of democracy as exemplified in the creation and sustaining of the United States of America and to continue the fight for civil rights in our country and throughout the world.
It is a challenging choice we have made, this choice to follow the path into which we have been invited by the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, but it is a life-giving path. It brings life into our lives and into the world. During the next few weeks we will continue to contemplate and recommit ourselves to this path.