Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Matthew 28:1-10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
As a teenager, I once traveled with our youth group to a recreation facility for a fellowship night — you know the kind, one where you laugh and scream and burn off all that teenage angst that’s been sitting on your chest for weeks. At this facility was a two story rope swing. You’d wait with your friends, climb up the steep steps, fasten a harness around your midsection, then teeter off the edge of a platform before a worker would give you the go-ahead to hurl yourself off the ledge. (Think Tarzan in the jungle, swinging from a vine in concentric circles.) Now 20 years later, I still remember the sheer terror I felt when looking over the ledge, trying to get the courage to shove off. I still remember the lurch in my stomach as my feet left the platform and the drop began. And I still remember the joy I felt as the wind whipped my face as I circled on the swing. After the first ride, we all lined up to do it again, a night-long cycle of fear, leading to joy.
Scripture tells us the two Marys at Jesus’ tomb felt the same things: fear and joy. I’m not sure the two can be separated when it comes to life’s greatest adventures. A two-story rope swing? Fear and joy. A new job? Fear and joy. The birth of a child? Fear and joy. A call to ministry? Fear and joy. The death of a beloved saint? Fear….and joy. For Mary and Mary, experiences with Jesus had already turned their lives upside down, but an experience with the risen Christ? This promised to be a new adventure that left them both fearful and joyful. But Jesus greeted them by casting away their fear, leaving only the joy of worship remaining. May we embrace both emotions as we continue to serve and worship our resurrected Messiah.
Almighty God, we thank you for our emotions and the ways they point to you. We praise you for life’s greatest adventures, and the courage to say yes to new things. Help us to capture fearful thoughts and push on to the joy that comes from following you. Amen.
Go with God!