West Chelmsford United Methodist Church
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Though it’s only the first of March, Easter is not that far away. The ground may be frozen and alternately brown (or white with snow), but we know Spring is coming, and with Spring comes Easter on April 1. And with Easter comes the greatest act of faith and trust that Christianity has to offer. When Easter comes we are invited to believe that over 2000 years ago a great Jewish teacher, who had been arrested and executed by the authorities, rose from the dead after three days and is still alive. It is an assertion that flies in the face of our reason and knowledge, and asks us to step beyond those into the realm of faith and trust. And we have no proof that it is true. We are asked to believe without a physical risen Jesus in front of our eyes.
In the familiar resurrection story in John’s gospel Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb and finds it empty. She goes and gets Simon Peter and another disciple (identified only as “the one whom Jesus loved”) and the two men run toward the tomb. It is described almost as a foot race, with the other disciple pulling ahead, but Peter ending up being the first to enter the tomb.
But, as Mary had reported to them, they do not find Jesus in the tomb. Here the writer describes what they did find: linen cloths that had wrapped Jesus’ body, and the cloth from his head. There was no risen Jesus in the tomb, yet we are told the disciples believed. How could that be? I like to think that they believed not by seeing Jesus, but by seeing the evidence that Jesus had been there. They saw the grave cloths – the signs that He had moved through that place.
And that is how most of us believe. We believe because we see what Jesus has done in the world, in the lives of others, and finally in our own life. We believe by seeing the evidence that Jesus has been here.
May this Easter season bring you great mystery and greater joy as you see more and more evidence that Jesus Christ has touched your life and the lives of those around you.
Reverend Mack