Scripture: Matt 28: 1-10
Key verses: (9-10) 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’
Reflection: The pivotal word “suddenly” cannot convey the untranslatable truth that, in this moment, everything we thought we knew is changed.
This story contains two such moments: “Suddenly … there was a great earthquake” and “Suddenly Jesus met them.” In other words, when we meet Jesus it is as if the ground moves beneath you. Nothing remains the same.
Consider two other images that fill the spaces between the two uses of “suddenly.”. One image is fear, which we see often in the scriptures. In our scripture today we read, “Do not be afraid,” and “they left with fear and joy.” The other image is vision where we are invited to see something new. Here we are invited to “come, see the place,” knowing “you will see him,” or “they will see me.” Looking for and yearning, fearing and seeing are all connected to the holy.
This week, I have been with 36 youth and adults engaging in the CROSS program at our church. We have been sleeping in the Outreach Center and working at ministries around Charlotte. For many of them, this is their first time away from home or doing mission work. It takes the courage to step out to share their faith. Just like the women at the tomb, they are still afraid. Courage is not simply throwing caution to the wind, as they say, but action despite danger.
Take a look at the fear of the women at the tomb. If we look closely at their fear we can see that it also contains joy. There will be fear and joy. Why is this important? It was as the women left the tomb “with fear and great joy” to go share the good news to other disciples that Jesus met them.
We went into this week of CROSS with both fear and joy. In all of our interactions, we have seen the presence of Christ. In the faces of the poor, in the laughter of the youth, in the sharing and receiving of Good News we have met Jesus. We should go into our day with awe, joy, and a bit of trembling, eager to see where and how the risen one will meet us in our neighbors and friends.
Prayer: With fear and joy, I move into my day knowing that along my path I will see you. Open my eyes, my heart, and my hands. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].