Hope to celebrate Easter with you during our Easter Sunday service. The children and their parents will lead the procession with a butterfly parade. We will then hear a special Easter message from Rev. Matt before heading off to Creator Quest. We will have a snack, hear a story, and work on a craft before we journey back to join families.
This week is a time of Journeys. Our story will be about the journeys of Mary Magdalene and her friend Mary to the cave where Jesus was buried. They began the journey thinking it was all about their destination. They were going to Jesus’ tomb to prepare his body with oils and incense. It was the custom for women to care for the body of the dead in those days. It turned out what happened along the way was the significant part. When they got close to the cave, they saw that the stone was pushed away from the entrance. They started to panic because it wasn’t what they were expecting. They really got upset when they looked inside and saw that Jesus’ body was gone. Then an angel appeared and told them not to be afraid because Jesus is not here anymore. He is alive. Still scared but also really excited, the Mary’s began a new journey to tell the rest of Jesus’ friends the good news.
How different their journey turned out to be from what they expected. They thought it was to be one of sadness but instead was a very happy one. How often do you find your journey has changed from what you expected? Even if you don’t achieve your original plan or destination, it does not mean you failed. Be open to hearing guidance along your way and change paths as needed. Also don’t be so focused on the end goal, celebrate the journeys. For example, mornings can be really rushed, racing around to get to school and work on time. However, those morning commutes can be awesome. The kids and I have had some really amazing conversations. I’ve had moments of enlightenment driving along the 33. Its not just achieving goal of arriving on time. It’s recognizing that life occurs along the journey.
May you enjoy the next part of your Journey as we begin our Easter Celebration.
Story: "The two Marys' journey" from the book Three Easter Journeys by Ro Willoughby.
This Easter journey began very sadly. Early in the morning, two days after the death of Jesus, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalen and her friend, Mary began their Easter journey. They went to see the cave where Jesus had been buried. They were in for a big shock!
Jesus had been very kind to both these women So they were very sad that he was dead. In the early morning shadows, they crept through the trees in the garden towards the cave. Suddenly there was a rumble under their feet. The earth shook. The rocks rattled. The tress groaned. The two women clung to each other. They were terrified.
Then in the mist they saw a figure sitting on a large stone outside a cave; someone very, very bright and shining. It was an angel! This angel had pushed away the stone which had covered the entrance to Jesus' cave. He shimmered like a stream of tinsel. The women clung to each other even more tightly. "Don't be afraid," the angel said. "I know you have come to see Jesus' body. Well, he's not here any more. He has come alive again. Now, hurry back and tell his friends what has happened."
Mary and her friend were still scared but an excited feeling began to bubble inside them. "What has happened to Jesus?" they asked each other. They hurried away to tell Peter and John and the others. But suddenly, they stopped. Just in front of them on the pathway, Jesus was coming towards them. They were sure it was him. They both hurled themselves at him. "Jesus! Jesus! You're alive!" There was so much they wanted to know, so much that they didn't understand.
"I really am alive," he said gently. "Now go and find the others. Tell them to go to Lake Galilee and I'll see them there." The two women did as Jesus told them. Would Jesus' friends believe them? It all seemed so impossible.
This Easter journey had a very happy ending. You can read this part of the story in the Bible in Matthew chapter 28.