News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
Easter is the end of Lent. If you’ve been giving up something like Chocolate, or Coffee, you’re free to indulge today and appreciate what you’ve abstained from these past weeks. If you’ve taken on a new practice – prayer, meditation, fasting, today marks your chance to continue on your own if that speaks to you. Easter is the end of the story. Or is it?
Each of the gospels tells this essential story in the life of Jesus. Yet each tells it slightly differently. Not because it’s fabricated, but because each writer sees it differently (as we would if we all witnessed a traffic accident). Each is also recording the gospel story for a particular audience in their context of nearly 2,000 years ago. Matthew’s retelling of that day is brief, concise, and visual. It’s broken into 4 little sections, which each seems to be a unit. It begins with a dating and naming of the people involved. They – and the whole city – are shaken by the violent earthquake (harkening back to Matthew 27:51-53 – the moment of Jesus’ death). This news is earth shattering, perspective-changing, life-altering. The first words of the angelic messenger are of comfort and courage – “Do not be afraid!” The Earth is shaking and so are you, but take courage God is moving.
There is no explanation given for how or why Jesus is alive again. The angel instructs them to return to the other community members, and tell them to return to Galilee (the beginning place of the Jesus Movement) to see Jesus. Shattered by such news the women leave and have a surprise encounter on the road with Jesus. In terror and fear (who wouldn’t be filled with both?) they are told again to return to Galilee – the beginning point, the place from which they began to know Jesus, what he thought, taught, lived and did. Jesus appears transformed, and in their encounter of him, they are too. He’s changed and yet the same. They are both changed, and sent back to the beginning.
Paul, in Colossians 3, asserts that how we are and how we live is connected, and interdependent upon the life and mind of Christ. Consequently we are to interact with the world differently, looking not to the earthly, but things above.
Question for Going Deeper:
1. What grabs your attention in these texts?
2. What does resurrection mean for you?
3. What is faith (religion or spirituality) for you? Is it a system of beliefs to which you ascribe? tradition? Is it how you understand the world and your place in it? How do you live your faith? How is the end the beginning?