April Devotion: Running to tell

Reading: John 20: 1-18

Think of Mary Magdalene’s shock when she realized that the tomb was open and, even worse, empty. Someone had taken the body of her beloved Teacher. Who? Why? Did the burial never happen? Did robbers take the body away?

Burdened with this bad news, Mary acted immediately and ran to tell the other disciples. Even in the terse Scripture text, we can almost hear her sandaled feet scrambling back down the path at top speed.

When the other disciples accompany her back to the tomb, they form their own opinions and return home. Mary is left alone, again, weeping at the empty grave.

Then, Jesus appears to reassure Mary. “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Yes, the tomb is empty, but far from being a sign of robbery, it is a sign of new life. The news, it turns out, is good. I imagine Mary ran even faster to share this news.

Jesus entrusted Mary with the gospel. This Easter, where will the good news send you running?  

God of death and resurrection, thank you for entrusting us to be the stewards of your good news. Grant us the boldness of Mary Magdalene, to be honest about our fears, open to your reassurance, and quick to share with others what you first share with us.

This message was adapted by Emma Crossen from a devotion written for Women of the ELCA by Audrey Novak Riley in 2005.