A story of absence and presence

The story of Easter morning in Mark's Gospel is only eight verses. Women come to the tomb to find the stone is rolled away from the entrance. The body is gone; a white robed messenger says Jesus has been raised. The women flee the tomb in terror and say nothing to anyone. Compare that with John's Gospel where Jesus meets Mary Magdalene in the garden of the resurrection, then meets his disciples behind locked doors-- two different times-- and then a final time by the Sea of Galilee, stories told over two chapters.

The Gospel witness to the resurrection is mysterious. Each writer tells a somewhat different story. Each views the events through a different lens. What do we make out of these different stories? What do these first century testimonies tell us about what happened on Easter morning?

There is so much one could say about the meaning of the resurrection; so many questions about what "really happened." We spend the fifty days of Easter rejoicing in the message of resurrection, but we spend little time digging deep and trying to meet the risen Jesus. How did St. Paul understand these stories, writing even earlier than the Gospels accounts themselves?

Let's do that reflection together. Starting next Sunday, May 26, at 9:15 we have the opportunity to chew on these narratives and look at them closely and in the context of each Gospel. What does the resurrection mean for you? What does the story of the empty tomb mean? It is a story of absence-- Jesus is not there-- and also a story of presence. Where did he go? Where is he? We each are invited to testify to the reality of that experience for our own lives and to say to the world "The Lord is Risen Indeed. Alleluia!"

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