April 4, 2018
Go to Galilee. There you will see him!
Mark’s account of the resurrection is the most unsettling ending in the gospels because we don’t see Jesus. But I’m still sitting with those words of Jesus, as spoken by the mystery man in the tomb to Mary Magdalene, Mary, and Salome that first Easter morning, “He’s going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”
In Tuesday morning Bible study this week, Bob Sampson said, “It’s like a fan effect—as soon as they get to Galilee and see the risen Jesus in each other, they hear that the same thing is happening in the Decapolis, Tyre, and eventually all over the Roman Empire.” Those earliest followers couldn’t catch the risen Jesus. It was tempting to try to grab the hem of his garment and hold on for just another moment, but he was constantly calling to them what was next. The risen Jesus stillcalls us to keep going out, spreading his message of love and justice as we work to bring about the kingdom of God on earth wherever we are.
As soon as we think we’ve got ahold of the risen Christ, there he is, calling us to something new. When we look around us at RBC for the resurrected Jesus we realize that he’s moving all around, calling us to the most pressing issues of the day—engaging with white supremacy, justice for the dreamers, criminal justice reform, action against gun violence of all forms, hungry children and even more.
On this day, we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., another prophet like Jesus, who was murdered as he spoke of God’s dream for all people. His words guide us and convict us. In his sermon Where Do We Go From Here?, he said,
“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Dr. King’s life and death remind us of what has been accomplished and what more there is to do in this world. The creative force in this universe is calling to us, calling us to find resurrection in our midst because it’s there too, dismantling the systems of injustice. It’s an honor to get to listen for the creative force in this universe and follow its lead alongside each of you in this place.
We will see the risen Christ together,