Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, March 31, 2024 – Easter Sunday

By Rev. Catherine Nance

Then…

Read: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand…”

We all know the scripture reading for today – “He is not here. He has risen.” The next line of good news we hear is, ‘He appeared.’ We think of Cleopas and his friend in Luke’s Gospel and Mary Magdalene in John’s Gospel. We could think of these as stand-alone stories; events that happened in the past to someone else. But, we claim that WE are an Easter People. In the Epistle reading for today, Paul reminds us that the appearances keep happening. “Now, I would remind you,” he begins,” of the Good News that I proclaimed to you.” He reminds us that Jesus died, was buried, and raised on the third day. Then, the thens begin. Yes, the THENS. 

THEN he appeared to Cephas, 

THEN to the Twelve, 

THEN to more than five hundred, 

THEN to James, 

THEN to all the apostles. 

In dramatic storytelling style, Paul concludes, “Last of all, he appeared also to me.”

This is where we get to interrupt the story and say, No, Paul; you were not last of all, because THEN he appeared to me!

When we say we are Easter People, we are not simply retelling a story that happened over two-thousand years ago. We believe Resurrection continues to happen and Jesus appears to us! I have seen Jesus in your faces when you speak of your hope. I have seen Jesus in a hospital room. I have seen Jesus when a child served me communion on Christmas Eve. I have seen Jesus when someone offered grace.

THEN, he appeared to me. Where have you seen Jesus? 

Prayer

O God of Resurrection, thank you for being alive in our hearts and in our world today. Help us to see you and THEN, to tell others the Good News! Amen.

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