Easter can’t just be “in the sweet by and by.” It must be in the here and now. The good news that first Easter, this Easter, and every Easter is that the grave is where resurrection begins. Alleluias always start with cold and broken things. Rolled-away stones. Folded up grave clothes. Guards who seem like dead men. A resurrected rabbi in a garden.
But if we aren’t careful, we won’t recognize the signs.
In John’s gospel, Mary Magdalene almost misses it, even though the good news is right in front of her. She sees an empty tomb, the body gone, and even angels, but this is not enough to break through her sorrow and fear. Even when she sees Jesus in the flesh, standing right next to her, she doesn’t recognize him. Mary Magdalene doesn’t yet know that what she is experiencing is good news. Resurrection is beginning.
This message is excerpted from “Broken alleluias” by Katie Hines-Shah in the April 2021 Gather magazine.
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