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Lectionary Living

Easter: Action, not Words

(April 4) Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 25:6-9  •  Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24  •  1 Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43  •  John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8

    How does one know that this person, reported in John 20 and Mark 16, is Jesus, back from the dead? One way – does it look like him? Well, apparently not, as Mary Magdalene has trouble recognizing him. Another way – does it sound like him? On this question, apparently yes. When she hears his voice, she knows it is him.

    It's when he asks his question that I begin to think maybe it is him. He was always asking questions, for one thing. And for another, he had asked a similar question, at the beginning of the book of John. What are you looking for? He'd asked some prospective disciples, back in chapter one (John 1:38). Now, it's Who – or whom, if you want to get technical – who are you looking for? It sounds like Jesus all right, always wanting a person to get clear about herself and what she is trying to do.

    And then, of course, there's the one more thing: the doing. Getting clear only makes sense when it's acted on. Here, the cross is instructive. Acting according to his principles, Jesus died with his integrity intact. I guess this is the only thing that can't be taken away from a person. Each of us can lose jobs, homes, families, health, reputations, and our very lives: all of these things can be destroyed. The utter humiliation of these losses can be palpable. Chaos can reign - or, at least, seem to be running the show – for a while.

    Still, something remains. While the end of chaos is nothingness, the end of Jesus' life was a continuation of his work. The question he asked Mary – and which she ran back and told to the disciples – still stands for each person to answer for herself. In every situation in life, one can wonder who or what one is looking for and where it's found, in the moment. The next step is deciding what one will do with the situation: in actions, not just words. Happy Easter, every day.

Daily Reflections:

Morning: What am I looking for?

Evening: Who was I looking for?

Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

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