Lectionary Reflection: Mark 16 and John 20: Brief Thoughts

            Some have too much to say about Easter.  (I know.  As Paul said, the whole point and pivot of the faith is here).  But I think some could spend more time saying as much about the faith that points and pivots here.

            Some have only one (or two) things to say and repeat themselves every year.  I suspect such people don’t see the connection between Easter and the rest of the Bible (as opposed to those who only see Easter).  Then again, theirs might be the best summary in recorded history, so why change?

            As I look around at the Easter celebrations I know and have participated in over the last dozen or so years, I would say there is only one thing lacking.  You might call it “The Wow Factor.”  For many, Easter is still a special day.  It is family, feast and for some it includes actually going to church.  But that is pretty much it.  Otherwise, it is like any other day.  There is no Wow.

            Here we are talking about a person risen from the dead, very God of very God as we confess.  And no one is disturbed, trembles at the thought, is made afraid to think, or even goes away bewildered.  For most, it is yawn. 

            Consider:  Why should the first word of the angels regularly be, “Do not be afraid?”  Why did the women go away trembling and bewildered?  Why did Mary’s tears turn from grief to joy?  And what did Peter and John think, and what did John believe since he plainly states they still did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead?

            By contrast, we just hear the words, and for some it is the same words we heard last year.  They are just words to millions.  They are just stories, not to be taken seriously or literally?  Do the dead not rise?  Can God not do above and beyond all that we may ask and think?  Should we not be Wowed every year at this time of year when we hear about impossible things happening in the face of eye-witnesses?  Where has the Wow gone?

            I fear for the millions who only hear the words and have no Wow.  What exactly do such people believe?  Easter is, after all, the point and pivot to the whole thing.  As Paul told us, if Christ is not risen, we are of all humanity most to be pitied.  But if Jesus actually (literally) rose after three days of being dead and in the grave and, “Ascended into Heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God,” I say Wow. 

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