11 Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. 13 The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” 14 As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.
John 20:1-18 CEB
Rev. Melissa Fain
No one wanted order more than myself. As a child, I would order my candy by color, eating all the odd colors first, so everything was even and neat. When I directed camps I organized to the nth degree. If plan A didn’t work, I had plans going up to E. Maybe it was my childhood that made me so worried about the possible chaos. My step-dad was an abusive alcoholic, and family issues were complicated by divorce and neglect. Keeping and understanding order had to have been my life preserver in a continually rocky sea.
Overall, it is in our nature to limit and draw lines. After all, we were created from the chaos. Our very being was given order, and understanding the limits to that order gives us a sense of calm. Sometimes, our desire to order life, causes us to draw lines between who is in and who is out. The biggest scandal of the cross, is Christ died for all. In such a chaotic way, Christ brings the ultimate order to Salvation. Christ died for you, for me, for the homeless crack addict off Peachtree St, the pious saint who goes to church every Sunday, those who would murder, those who would rather die than hurt someone else. Christ died for all. Christ died for all sides, and all types.
Jesus died for the Gentile, like the woman at the well. Jesus died for the Pharisee, like Nicodemus. The moment we begin labeling the people Jesus didn’t die for, they become the very people Jesus died for. Like, Jesus choosing someone who wasn’t one of the twelve, a woman, to be the first person to preach the resurrection of the Lord. We may draw lines and limit what we can do. Meanwhile, God can do anything. Jesus died for all.
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Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner. Thank you for your grace and forgiveness. Thank you for your inclusion and love. In your new life, we gain new life too. It is so true. You are Lord. Amen.
Melissa is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She has a BA in Music from Kennesaw State University and a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She is currently the senior minister at Fig Tree Christian. Melissa is the mother of two wonderful children, and wife to a great and supportive husband. In her spare time she loves arts and crafts which includes making costumes from scratch, and knotted bracelets.