As preachers have always pointed out, every Resurrection story involves fear: the women who go to the tomb are afraid, before and after they meet the Living Jesus. But male disciples are even more afraid; they are huddled together in the Upper Room “afraid of the Jewish authorities.” [John 20:19] But the guards are afraid, Herod and the Jewish leaders, afraid, everybody freaked.
Their palpable fear isolates them from each other: the guards are frightened of the events at the tomb, frightened of their leaders, frightened of the women; the women are scared of Jesus and the guards; the men in the Upper Room have locked the door to keep anyone else out.
This Easter who doesn’t get that scene? I went walking our dogs this morning and while I try to say good morning and wave at folks about half of the people I pass don’t even acknowledge me. I know they are afraid and I get why.
But as you have given thanks for, I too give thanks that Jesus conquered his people’s fears: told them/us not to be afraid. He could say that because he was Life and Strength, Grace for their needs. That does not mean that the people around him just resumed life in old ways. To the contrary, they were going to live lives forever new. But, they were no longer afraid in the same ways. The people who ran off from Jesus remain covered in the cowl of fear: solders, religious authorities, others who refused to receive the Good News.
In the middle of our isolation may we know the calm of Jesus who tells us “Peace.” And may the Spirit of the Risen Christ that empowers our churches in so many powerful ways this Lent and Easter season where amazing acts of ministry are daily celebrations move us closer to each other in spirit until we reassemble as the Body of the Risen Christ!
If you would like to view past editions of Hello from Harvey, follow this link: https://capitaldistrictnc.org/category/from-the-ds/