Take a journey with me back to Maundy Thursday, to that upper room.
All the pictures we see and many of the stories we tell have twelve men at table with Jesus sharing that Last Supper. Probably there were many more than twelve in that room. We know that Jesus had many followers and several of the gospel stories tell of the women who were close to him and travelled with him.
Remember then, that Salome and the two Marys experienced the sadness of Jesus saying “this is my body & this is my blood”, the pain of Judas betrayal in the garden, the agony of Jesus death on the cross. They have been through it all over the past four days
They stood at the foot of that cross until his body was taken down and wrapped and taken away. They wept in agony that their beloved was gone.
They now come, now to care for Jesus. There had not been time on Friday to prepare his body for burial. They come as many people come with caring on their minds and in their hearts and the tools in their hands. They come bearing spices.
As they walk, they talk. They want to offer their caring to Jesus one more time, but there is a big barrier, a large stone and they do not think that they will be able to roll it away.
They arrive and the stone is gone. They look in and there is a stranger and no body. He gives them a message and they leave paralysed by fear. Their caring actions are foiled.
The Good News is that stone is rolled away! Jesus is not here! He has gone ahead to Galilee!
The Good News for us is that “there are cracks in the everything, that’s how the light gets in”. (Leonard Cohen – Anthem)
The women carried on a vigil of caring over those four days and they call us into this vigil of caring with them. We are not to be discouraged by large boulders in our way, by definitive medical diagnoses, by corporate agendas, by bullying people, by devastating wars, by persistent poverty, by a lack of resources.
You and I are called into a renewed, revitalized mission of caring for the other. The stone has been rolled away. Jesus has been called to a new life and so have you had I.
Let us go away this Easter aware of the places in our world where the light is sneaking in through the cracks, where the door is partially open, where others have entered in.
Let us join the people of Occupy. Let us join Doctors for Fair Taxation. Let us join The Sanctuary Coalition. Let us continue to challenge a world that judges us by physical ability, by who we love, by the colour of our skin, by our country of origin, by our financial resources.
Let us remember that each of us knows how to care and knows where we are needed. Whether it is standing up to a bully at school, speaking up in court, driving a newly arrived refugee to appointments, taking food to places it is needed. We know how and where to care.
On this day of resurrection may we too be resurrected. May we be flooded with new life and courage.
In the face of fear Salome and the two Marys told the story of that morning.
In the face of all that keeps us scared, in the face of all that keeps us safe, and in the face of all that keeps us doing what is expected of us by society, I invite us to step beyond the norm.
I invite us to care in a way that will change the world! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!