“So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” Mark 16:8
One of the earliest transcripts of Mark’s gospel ends with an empty tomb. More specifically, it ends with the disciples fleeing the tomb too afraid and amazed to speak to anyone about the Risen Christ. It seemed all too incredible!
As a small church, we can be up against some big odds, and yet as incredible as it might seem to some, we trust that an even bigger God is with us. Therefore, we regularly stretch ourselves in service of the Gospel. We’ve embraced those who many would call outcasts. We’ve raised funds for projects and charity that seemed beyond us. We have helped shape the faith or future pastors, become a community center for our county, and befriended many despite denominational boundaries. As a result, many have heard of Jesus and been encouraged – not just in Mechanicsville but even internationally. It takes faith do that – a faith that comes from God as a gift of the Spirit.
As Easter celebrations recede on our calendar, I pray our Easter joy never does. People need to hear the story of Jesus from us. Christ wants us to be his body in a real and difficult world. This is no time for fear, no time to be struck dumb. It is our time to renew our search for Jesus and the seek those who need him as well.
I give continued thanks to be your pastor and am encouraged by your faith. Let us continue to share this faith boldly in word and deed. Despite our doubts and darkness, Jesus is ready to shine forth from our life together. He is no longer in the tomb. Our Savior lives in our midst and our overflowing hearts.
I wish you and your families a blessed Easter season, all fifty days.
Originally published in Messiah Lutheran’s newsletter, The Messenger (April 2018 edition).
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations for this article are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.
© 2018 The Rev. Louis Florio. All content not held under another’s copyright may not be used without permission of the author.