Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Wednesday - awe and astonishment

Prayer: Prayer:  Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,  have mercy upon us.  Lamb of God, the well-spring of life, pour into our hearts the living water of Your mercy.  Lamb of God,  the source of all our comfort,  grant us Your peace.   Increase our faith, and grant that we may walk in the brightness of Your presence this day and forever.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Luke 24: 1 – 12

On the first day of the week,  the women came to the tomb to add spices to the body of Jesus.  Spices -  myrrh and aloes were used when wrapping the body in linen.     Yet why would the women have watched Joseph place Jesus’ body in the tomb and not do anything right then?  The answer is found in Luke 23: 56 – the women rested on the Sabbath according to the commandments.

Then on the next day,  the day that was not the Sabbath,  the woman continued their work of adding spices and aloes to Jesus’ body.    Are you wondering why the women seem to be doing work after Joseph completed the burial?   Frequently,  spices were used for preparation,  procession,  and then internment.    Internment would be why the women came to the tomb of Jesus on the first day of the week. 

Yet when they went to the tomb,  they found it empty.  The body of Jesus was gone!  What must the women have thought?     While they were wondering where the heck the body of Jesus had gone,  two men in dazzling bright clothes appear.   The women immediately bow their faces to the ground… they knew they were in the presence of the Holy.    

The two men then explain to the women where the body of Jesus had gone. 

Mary Magdalene, Joanna,  Mary the mother of James, and the other women go and tell the disciples what they had seen and heard. 

Peter gets up and runs to the tomb.  Running was not what a dignified male would do.  For Peter to run anywhere meant something had happened that he wanted to see with his own eyes.  After he had seen the empty tomb with his own eyes,  he was amazed and went home.

What,  do you think,  the women and Peter must have thought in seeing the empty tomb?  What,  do you think,  the women thought when they encountered the two men in dazzling clothes?

Prayer:   God of Awe and Astonishment,  it is through You that we have life. Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise  for all you have done for us. We thank you for the splendour of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love. We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side. We thank you for setting us tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us. We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone. Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom. Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.  (Book of Alternate Service  The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.  1985,   page 129-130)

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