Yesterday was Easter, and as I was on the way to church, I was praying. I was praying for my church and for churches across the nation, because it is one of the most attended days of the year. I prayed like Paul prayed, that the message would be clear.
As I was praying, I was thinking about that first Easter morning. What it must have been like for those women who went to the tomb, Mary Magdalene and the other’s. They went to the tomb grieving, their savior was gone, they went hurt, maybe a little angry, confused, scared, they didn’t know where to go from there. They didn’t know what the future held.
I thought about that, I thought about the people walking into our churches. Not just on Easter morning, but every Sunday. Some are grieving, grieving different things, loss of someone they love, infertility, loss of dreams, loss of job, loss of relationship. Some come in hurt, others come in angry, confused, scared, and no idea of where to go from here.
As I thought about that, I began to pray, God show your self to people this morning. Show yourself the same way you showed up in the garden that morning. Mary turned away from that tomb dejected, angry thinking someone had stolen Jesus’ body. Then when she turned to leave, Jesus was standing there. He asked, “who are you looking for?” She didn’t recognize Him until he spoke her name.
Most of us don’t recognize until he speaks our name. My prayer was Jesus let people hear when you speak their name today, let them recognize who you are. Answer the prayer of that wife who has been praying for her husband for years. That Mother whose wayward child comes to church with her on Easter. The answer to prayers of a son or daughter for a lost parent, prayers of grandparents and friends.
The next thing Mary does, is run to tell the disciples that Jesus is alive, I have seen him. On this Monday morning after Easter, I pray that there are people everywhere at work, and school who found out yesterday that Jesus is alive, and they are just as excited as Mary to tell people today.
Easter is only one day a year, but the hope that comes from that empty tomb lives every day. So what does the empty tomb mean the Monday after Easter? The same thing that it means Easter morning, Jesus is alive and calling our names. God, let me be as aware of the empty tomb every morning, as I am on Easter.