– that same day – “at early dawn” – when Luke reports that the women had gone with their spices to the tomb and found the stone rolled away
– that same day when they found the tomb empty except for two men in dazzling white clothing who terrified the women and said, “He is risen”
– that same day when Luke reports that the women told what they had seen and heard and been told “to the eleven and all the rest”
– that same day when none of the men believed them and Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb and stooped to look in and see for himself and was amazed at what happened….
– only just a week’s time, we should remember -
– since the glorious entry of their beloved Jesus into the city of Jerusalem when everyone cheered him and threw palms and their cloaks beneath his feet and waved palms in his honor.
How could everything they knew and understood about the future be taken away so suddenly?
What about all the miracles they had witnessed? Wasn't God in those miracles? Where was God now?
What about everything Jesus had taught them? What about all their dreams of a new way?
And, that is not a lie. That is absolutely the truth for me.
- from the upper room in Jerusalem, filled with the ice-cold silence of fear, to the road to Emmaus where everyone asked, “What has happened?”.
Let me say that again, faith sees beyond fate.
Using as an illustration the story of Noah's ark, when the entire world was being destroyed by flood except for those on the ark that Noah built, the philosopher and writer Noah benShea wrote about some of the lessons we can learn from that story.
Can you take that in? Even in the flood of death, it is the flood that supports the ark of life.
Even the architecture of a church reminds us of the sacred stories of our faith and reminds us that this building, this church, is a safe place – a sanctuary – against the forces of destruction in the world.
“The lesson of Noah teaches us that there comes a time in each of our lives when it is necessary to build an ark, to create a structure in which we can hide – a habit or a place or an attitude within ourselves that will shelter us – if we are to survive life’s terrible storms.”
“Noah was told to put a window in the ark so he could tell when the rain had stopped, and so we can remind others who have struggled to survive that they, too, should put a window in their ark, so all of us will know when it is time to come out from behind the habit of walls we build to survive.”“And (then) we will see that the world is not always filled with a flood.”
Neither do I believe they stick around, lurking like ghosts, locked in tombs of death.
I think they find a way to roll back the stone or make their way to the top of the waves of the flood where we see them through the window, dancing in the light mist of the white sea foam.
– is one of those times -
- to allow your eyes to be opened to see the truth which has been walking along side of you, just seven miles to the north and east, a mere two hour walk from the epicenter of things.
To rediscover the hope that comes from choosing to believe.
Now, on this same day, walk the road to Emmaus with some friends and find your broken dream.
It will be right there, walking right beside you.
He is risen! Alleluia! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!