Easter Sunday, April 12

Matthew’s telling of resurrection morning is probably my favorite of the Gospel accounts of the first Easter. The entire Matthean narrative, from a who’s who of Jewish ancestry in chapter one to those dramatic moments with the angel descending from heaven in dazzling light amid the earth shaking from its foundations, seems ripe for the big screen. Let’s face it, this is Easter morning, and our over-stimulated senses need to experience the full 3-D Imax, Dolby surround-sound special effects of this miraculous moment – God raising his only son from earthly death to eternal paradise.

But this isn’t Hollywood, this is a book of miraculous faith for people of expectant faith. The angel knew the women’s hope, and their grief, as displayed in the greeting, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, as he said.” The angels again this Easter morning are proclaiming the triumphant news that we know who you are looking for but he has been raised, your expectant faith has been born again in the risen Christ. Alleluia, amen!

We have been sharing these many weeks how our faith should be a beacon brightly shining for all to experience its beauty and light. But as I wrote in the introduction to this booklet, the beacon also leads the wayfaring sailors safely home. With mixed emotions we have faced the long journey of Lent, but today we hear Jesus proclaim, “Do not be afraid, go and tell my beloved to come, and they will see me.” Yes, dear God, the empty tomb has been our eternal beacon; we are living in your light; and today, we are safely home.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for guiding us through these turbulent waters. As we cast our anchors onto solid ground, may we continually proclaim the good news of Easter morning – Christ is risen from the dead; the grave has forever been conquered; and we will live in your house forevermore. Alleluia, Amen!

– Steven Baines

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