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[And the angel said to the women], “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him as he told you.”  And the [women] went out and fled the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.  [Mark 16.6-8 RSV]

As you read this, our Lenten pilgrimage nears its conclusion with the coming of Holy Week.  On Palm Sunday, we join the cheering crowds who welcome Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of ‘Hosanna!’  We share his last meal in the Upper Room; a meal which consecrates his body and blood as the new covenant under signs of bread and wine.  After all of this, we, like our forebears long ago, have difficulty staying awake in Gethsemane as Jesus struggles in prayer with what awaits him.  Soon, we will desert him; even denying that we ever knew him.  Then he dies a lonely death upon a Godforsaken cross outside of Jerusalem.

Yet what appeared to be the end was not.  The God who let Jesus die bearing the weight of human sin, acted decisively and raised him from the dead.  When we come to the tomb, we find only a burial shroud and an angel who tells us that Jesus has gone on before us into Galilee –awaiting us. 

Why Galilee?  Because that's where we live . . . That's where we work . . . That's where we are.  Why Galilee?  Our sorrows and our joys, our victories and our defeats all take place in Galilee.  So that's where Jesus is – In Galilee, right in the middle of our lives.  It's no wonder the women were afraid . . . It's no wonder they told no one . . . There’s no getting away from Jesus.  It's the new way God does business with us.  Jesus Lives!  Alleluia!

In the name of the ☩ Resurrected Jesus

Pastor Steve