Today's Lectionary Text
John 20:1-10Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Happy Easter! With whom do you identify most in the story of the resurrection? Peter? The other disciple? Mary? One of the disciples who received Mary’s witness?
We immerse ourselves in the story of the church becoming a movement of grace transforming the world. At its core, it is a love story. It reveals to us that we live in a world that God so loves, and that God will stop at nothing to express the Creator’s grace, mercy, compassion and justice to that world.
You are a part of that story. You belong to a church and an extended family of believers. Together we give expression to this love story by making disciples of Jesus Christ who transform the world by their new life in Christ.
After witnessing the resurrected Christ, the apostles were sent to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the first disciples of Jesus became a movement that transformed the world. The Gospel readings offer an opportunity to have a fresh encounter with Jesus. It is this encounter which can reignite a Holy Spirit fire within you. It is this fire that is the energy of the movement we seek to become.
We are an Easter people. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the spark for everything else. Pray that we might have a fresh encounter with Jesus; that the power of Christ’s resurrection might again be set loose in the world through the fire of the Holy Spirit within us. Pray that this season of prayer and reflection might have a lasting impact on our congregations and communities.
The next 50 Days of the Easter season is an opportunity for us to pray and prepare for that new day when we as a Church become a movement again. Let’s turn toward God’s vision and God’s world and the call of Christ to get about God’s mission. Let’s open ourselves to God through these daily Scripture readings. Let’s pray that God would make us a movement again.
Pray that you and all who participate in these 50 days of reading, reflecting and response will hear their name called by Christ and encounter Christ in powerful and transforming ways so that we all might acknowledge that we are raised with Christ.
— Rev. Nicole Conard
Young Adult Ministry Coordinator
Prayer for Reflection
O Risen Christ, it is up from the grave you arose. You conquered death and we now live with you. Help us to continue to acknowledge that you and the whole world is raised with you. Ignite in us a passion and prayer to prepare ourselves for 50 days of Easter to proclaim your good news to all the world. Amen.
— Adapted from “Catch the Fire in 50 Days: Joining the Movement of God’s Mission in the World” by Blake Busick and Christie Latona,
for more information on this series in your congregation go to www.greatplainsumc.org/holy-week
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color