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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, April 24, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Luke 24:1–12

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened. (NRSV)

Wow. Can you imagine? Can you imagine looking for Jesus after his horrendous and traumatic death, only to discover two strange men who tell you that Jesus is resurrected? I’m continuously amazed by how stunned and how willing the women were to believe. Their belief did not extend to the disciples with whom they communicated, but they still believed. They must have had openness within their hearts for hope and wonder.

I’m not sure if I always have that same openness and wonder. I tend to worry a lot about what could happen. My hope (especially at the end of winter and in the midst of our contentious political environment) seems to wane.

But the Easter story in itself and how the women reacted reminds me that faith is about hoping in the unimaginable. Faith means keeping a piece of our heart open to the possibilities of new life in the midst of death and sorrow. I love that our faith tradition rides the realistic cycle of hopelessness to hope. I’m thankful that our God continues to shape us and speak to us in the seasons and in this story. Wow indeed. Our God is amazing!

Risen One, thank you for the gift of your story. Thank you for how it teaches us to have hope in the impossible. Thank you for finding us in the midst of hopelessness. Continue to open our hearts to your wonder and world. Alleluia! He is risen! He is risen indeed! Amen.

Written by Abbi Heimach-Snipes, Pastoral Resident

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