Easter is not just a story about Jesus. It is about humanity and about all of us. As Mary is about to go off and tell the rest of the disciples that Christ is alive, Jesus tells her one last thing: “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” In that one phrase, Jesus is telling Mary you are now included with me in everything. This moment, this Resurrection, it’s not just for me. It’s for you. It is for all of you.
As we journey this week towards Calvary, may we not worry so much about religion and labels and who is in and who is out. May we not worry if we don’t know all the traditions and rituals and rules perfectly. Instead, let us reflect on the reason God’s house was built in the first place, the reason this house was built, the reason this community was built – to meet God, to know God’s love, and to shine that love as a light to all people.
“The only command God gives to those three disciples on that mountain is to listen. Not to build. Not to make sense of it all. Not to create a religion or rules or buildings or lists of things to do. But just “Listen!” Pay attention. See what Jesus is doing in front of you.”
On that mountaintop, Jesus is telling us about ourselves. He is telling us that we don’t have to go along with whatever the world tells us. We don’t have to give in to either fear or hate. The world will not dictate who we will be and how we will act. We may be attacked. We may face injustice. We may live in a broken and fearful world. But we can stand tall. We can remember that we are children of God, made in God’s image, and that the Spirit of the Holy Ghost resides deep within us, giving us creativity, strength, and a vision for a better world.
In our scripture reading for today, Jesus tells us directly who we are. “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.”
In Jesus’ most famous speech, he does not begin with a list of commandments or some grand metaphysical, philosophical statement about the universe. Instead, he begins with a blessing.
“How can four men walk away from everything – to follow a carpenter who says only a few words to them?”
Psalm 121:1-4 John 4:3-15 For those of you who don’t already know, my name is Alyssa Queen. I’m Karen and Eric’s daughter. I’m currently a sophomore at Pfeiffer University, which is a small liberal arts school in North Carolina. I’m a Religion and History double major at Pfeiffer, and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity […]
Jesus could have had all of the markings of an earthly king. It was offered to him in those 40 days in the wilderness. He was offered to sit on a high throne over all thrones, to lead over armies, to have all the gold and wealth of the world. But he said no. Because he didn’t come for his own crown or his own throne or his own gold. He came for us.
“We are called to live in faith, not just when it is easy. Our faith is needed actually the most when it is challenged. When the world seems the darkest, that is when we most need the light. And those are the moments when our continued faith, when our witness to love and hope, grace and healing can be the most powerful.”