Preparing for Easter Sunday: April 24th

Good morning everyone!

I know you must be having a fantastic week. Can you imagine that we’ve had almost three days of sun? My Vitamin D intake is off the hook!

A number of you have given me feedback on Zachary’s visit and it sounds (thank you) and like many of you I was really blessed by his time with us. It was fun having him in town and was really nice to have him stay with us. I was talking with Lee Foster earlier today (he’s one of the people on Zachary’s care committee) and I think we both had the sense that this has so far been a mutually beneficial project. This is how good ministry always is. Ministry should never be a one way street. In the encounter with another person, and through “redemptive hospitality” as Zach talked about on Sunday, we will be challenged, changed and moved. I hope that this is something we continue to experience in the many ways we connect with people outside as well as inside our own community at Camas Friends. Let us continue to risk relationships, as we build trust and make new connections with one another.

It is also in this vein that we have been thinking about Jesus in the Gospel of John. Think about all the of relationships he “risked.” Who was he really? And what was he up to? It seems like we can learn a lot by just looking at who it was he entered into relationship with, let alone the things he demonstrated and taught. Some we might ask: Who does he speak with? What new connections does he make between himself and those around him? How does he undo and redo our assumptions about what it means to be faithful?

And of course, how does all of this shape our understanding of Christ? And how have we encounter Christ in similar, as well as new, ways this Lenten season?

Here is our passage from John 20:

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?”

Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her. (John 20:1–18 NRSV)


  • How are we changed, how are we “turned around” as it says in John through our encounter with the spirit of Christ?
  • When and where have you experienced redemptive hospitality to others, to the spirit of Christ, to yourself?
  • Think about the story from each person’s perspective? How do you understand their responses to the empty tomb/resurrection in relation to your own?
  • Who do you think the Gospel of John is saying Christ is in this text?

We might on one hand see Easter Sunday as the end of Lent, but really with resurrection, this is always just the beginning.

Look for more details on the Sunrise service (6am beacon rock) and more information about Sunday brunch in emails to follow.

Have a great rest of the week.