Sermon for April 17, 2022 Easter “Teacher”
Prepared with the spices and ointments to prepare the body of Jesus for burial, Mary made her way to the tomb. This was not going to be a good day, for the powers of Empire killed her friend. She was still angry that no one came to his aide, not even the disciples. It broke her heart that it was a few women, close to Jesus, that now were responsible to this task. And yet she would and they would because they loved Jesus.
From the conversation of concern with a ‘gardener’ to the shocked realization that this supposed gardener is Jesus, Mary’s heart and mind must have been in a tsunami of emotions. Of all the things that Mary could have said, what is recorded is ‘Teacher’. You will never convince me that Mary kept a stiff upper lip, or was pan-faced or stoic when Rabbouni crossed her lips. Rather it was uttered with the joy filled, and unexpected shock of seeing her dear friend alive. Imagine here if you will (with no apologies for the comparison) a Jewish mama who had no filters when it came to public displays of emotion. I can hear the shrieks of delight, the gasps, the hands to face and heart and most of all the impulse to grab Jesus into a vise like hug. And I expect it was all Jesus could do to persuade her from this hug.
This scene is I hope, more prolonged than scripture gives it credit, but after some time Jesus asks her to go and tell the others. The others heard the shriek that pierced the locked windows and doors and by the time Mary arrived there the others were unlocking the doors to go and see if she was alright.
I have seen the Lord…He is alive.
These word reverberate through the centuries even to our ears. Jesus is alive is not a subdued comment, it is not an ‘Oh and by the way’ sort of notation. These are the words that state in no uncertain terms that God and Jesus silence Empire, give voice to our silence and confound the skeptics.
All of a sudden we know what Jesus means when he says ‘the stones will shout’, and all creations shouts glory and hallelujah so that all will hear.
And we gather here, we gather where you are, bound by the glory of Spirit to celebrate this feast. I can assure you it is not a feast of sacrifice, it is a feast of love, a feast that gathers us together and a feast that sends us forth. No longer are we silent and ashamed for we have in us the love of God that transforms us and through us our neighbour.
And Jesus says: ‘go and tell others’.