Message of resurrection: Go on, get out, get to work!
Published 1:23 am Saturday, April 7, 2018
By CYNTHIA HOWARD
It is Sunday, the evening of the resurrection, and we find ourselves in a house with the gathered disciples: every door in the house is locked, and fear is all around. There is fear of the Roman government that had executed Jesus, and there is fear of the Jewish authorities who had been complicit with Rome. There is perhaps even a little fear at the news Mary Magdalene had brought to them. What if this one who had loved them so much, this one they had deserted at his most painful and vulnerable hour – what if Jesus actually were alive? What if they had to look Jesus straight in the eye and answer for their unloving, cowardly, disloyal behavior?
Inside the locked house as the disciples huddled together with fear as strong as the locks on the doors, suddenly and surely unexpectedly Jesus appeared among them. “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid. I have a job for you. It is an incredible mission, if you choose to accept it. Here it is. Just as the Father sent me, I send you. As the Father sent me to be light and life for the world, now I send you to be light and life for the world.”
There was hardly even a moment to say, “Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
No, this was more like, “Alleluia! Now, it’s time to get out of this locked house and get to work! So, go on, get out of here!”
I believe that is what the resurrection life is all about. It is being light and life to a world where there is so much darkness and so much death. It is work that is not done out of obligation, but it is work that springs from the joy that Christ gives.
This is the life that Christ gave to his disciples in that locked house on a Sunday evening, as he gave them a mission – to declare the good news of peace, healing, and reconciliation. Along with that mission, Christ gave them the gift of the Spirit – to transform and empower them.
Alleluia! Now, it’s time to get to work! So, go on, get out of here!
The Rev. Cynthia Howard is rector of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Andalusia.