Easter Tears

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” -John 20:15

I have discovered that my eyes tear up at movies more often than they used to. Perhaps it is that I am just getting older and closer to heaven. Recently I noticed there are three kind of scenes that bring a lump to my throat and make my eyes well up. The first are quite sad, others are actually quite happy, and a third kind is neither sad nor happy, but scenes brimming with nostalgia. My reaction in all three cases suggested that I was more than a distant observer. I was there.

There is a tradition within the church which considers tears to be a gift of God, and the shedding of tears an expression of some of our deepest affections for God — repentance, longing, joy, love. When something (or someone) touches our lives, deeply enough to cause us to cry; we know that more than our mind is engaged in the relationship. In some way, we have given over our hearts. This was surely the case with Mary Magdalene. Her early morning search for Jesus was driven by a love which could not let him go, even in death. We can only imagine the sorrow which had torn at her soul as she watched her Lord suffer and die (Mark 15:40). Finding that his tattered body, placed in the tomb so carefully two nights before, was now absent from its resting place, must have broken her heart. Of course she wept. She was no distant observer. Jesus was her life, her love.

We have heard the Easter message probably more times than we can count. The risk of such familiarity, of course, is that the resurrection of Jesus Christ becomes a ‘matter-of-fact” announcement. We were not there, nor can we recreate the event no matter how many times it has been scripted and acted. Are we simply distant observers? I think not. This Easter season, let us recall that Jesus has taken over our hearts. Let us remember that we have met this Person, that sometimes we wish he were here by our side, and that we know he is alive. And, if anyone wonders why eyes well up as we hear the Gospel readers proclaim: “Now on the first day of the week,” or as we sing: “Jesus Christ is risen today,” we can tell them, “Because this is all about my Lord.”

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you that I am not a distant observer of Easter and for the gift that allows me to express the depth of your love for me. Amen.

In His Peace,

Pastor Schultz

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