When Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome arrived to the tomb to anoint the crucified body of Jesus, they encountered a young man who greeted them with the words, “Do not be alarmed.” He went on to say, “you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”
Not unlike the people of God long ago who were present for the first Easter, it strikes me that you and I, for a whole host of reasons, might find the great mystery of the Resurrection hard to believe; that we actually might be alarmed. Our very human attempts and seemingly cultural encouragement to make sense of all things in life, that either have occurred or might occur, often leave us with more questions than answers. Even around instances whereby our Creator does the impossible, miracles happen daily, good things strangely happen to those who we might deem unworthy, and a “green blade riseth from the buried grain,” we want answers.
Easter invites us to consider the inexplicable reality that death is not the final answer. God in Christ told his followers, and all who were listening, that they would see him again; that they might not recognize him; that eternal life, made possible only by the Creator, is the final answer. Easter also invites us to embrace and act on our Parish Vision, which is to become a community of bold followers of Jesus, a crowd that effects good change for the world, a place known for radical love and welcome, and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte.
May our Easter hearts open us to be transformed into a people of hope, justice, and love, who no longer are alarmed by the capacity of God and do all things in the name of Jesus.
–The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector