Jesus said to Mary, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
When I was a kid, and I got into trouble, I was often with a couple of boys I grew up with. One of them had an older brother who never participated in whatever innocent foolishness we were about. Frankly, we were probably too silly and too juvenile for him. In any case, whenever we faced the consequences for whatever we had done, his mom always said, regarding the older son, “Evidently, he has better things to do.”
I have always remembered that phrase when I read and hear the exchange that the Risen Jesus and Mary Magdalene had on Easter morning. Mary does what I would do: she evidently reaches out to grab hold of her risen rabbi, to hold on, to see if this is for real, to grab on to something too good to be true, to simply marvel and enjoy the beauty of the moment. Jesus evidently has better things to do. He is blunt: “Don’t try to hold me back,” he says in effect. And, he has work for Mary Magdalene to do: “Go tell.”
I love Easter. The Good News, all the “stuff” that goes with it, especially the music. Wow. And, I confess, I am the sort who will often go to Easter Evening Service, a much quieter time to marvel at all the morning held. BUT, I am not at all sure that Jesus wants me doing all that.
If I celebrate Easter; if I celebrate the first part of John 20, where the tomb is empty, the Risen Lord calls on me to join his messenger, Mary Magdalene, not only to sit and contemplate, but to get up and go. To go tell Good News and to go live Good News.
That is our job as the Church. To show and to tell Good News. Easter is meant to suffuse the rest of our community’s life: Administrative Council, Staff-Parish Relations Committee, Trustees, Finance, and the ways we treat visitors at church and those who think they aren’t welcome at our churches.
Evidently, Jesus had something better to do than to stay in the Garden of the Resurrection. Because of that morning so do we.
Thanks be to God. Now, evidently, I have something I am supposed to be doing.
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Hello from Harvey – EVIDENTLY, JESUS HAS BETTER THINGS TO DO
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