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April 3 Weekly Pondering

Beloved Community

“Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my brothers that I am going into Galilee. They will see me there.” Matthew 28: 10


            Each of the Gospel’s record the resurrection in a different manner. Some just have Mary at the tomb, others have a couple Mary’s and a Salome, still others have many Mary’s, Joanna and “other women.” The differences do not detract from the story. We should not get side-tracked in trying to determine, “which Gospel writer is the true one”, for they all are.

            Differences may exist but so do similarities. In all four Jesus rises from the dead. In all four women are the first to the tomb. In all four angel messengers are part of the pronouncement, “Jesus is not here, he has gone ahead of you.” Jesus meets them back in Galilee, on the road to Emmaus and in Jerusalem. He meets them where they had shared a common life and ministry. Ever notice how Jesus’ doesn’t return to the cross? Or Calvary?

            Jesus meets them in the places where they knew community together. Places where they grew in faith and understanding. Places around tables and dinners, at the seashore and in familiar rooms. Jesus meets them in the everyday places of life because in the everyday places is where the Body of Christ is called to live and serve.

            Out of the resurrection came new life. Part of the new life is the rise of the Beloved Community of God. Jesus called them back to community following the resurrection. He blew the Holy Spirit upon them and told them to love one another and share such love in the world. Too often we can overlook this vital part of the Easter story – the empowerment of the Beloved Community of God.

            Our world is plagued by isolation and loneliness. The knowledge of the Beloved Community of God is oft overlooked amid all the other pursuits of life. Our connection to the Beloved Community of God will often come only when the schedule is cleared of all our other pursuits. We give it the crumbs even as Jesus tells us it’s the Bread of Life.

            Yes, Jesus conquered the grave and rose from the dead and THEN he called the Beloved Community together. The rise of the Beloved Community just may be the true miracle of Easter. For without the Beloved Community we, so many centuries later, would not know the story. We would not know the hope and faith of new life. We would not know we are the Beloved Community of today.

Faithfully Yours,

Rev. Wendy

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