Tuesday, July 7, 2015

An Idle Tale

On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. Luke 23:56b - 24:11 

Some events are so overwhelming, that when looking back, it seems an impossible dream. This General Convention had moments like that. We sat praying in the cathedral as the vote was announced. We cried and shook with gladness as we realized what had happened and what we had done. On the very first ballot we had elected the first African American Presiding Bishop, just days after the shootings in Charleston. The world had changed suddenly and our part in it had changed too. And we were like stunned deer, barely believing as we looked into the headlights. 
The women came very early in the day, fearful of the guards and authorities, anxious about seeing their friend's ruined body, prepared to do what needed to be done. They really were going through the motions, as one does when deep in grief. Their anxiety was met with surprise and delight, new life where there should be only death, possibility when there should be nothing more. They ran to the disciples, who deep in their grief, ignored the women in the joy and hopefulness. God invites us today, when we feel there is nothing more to remember the "idle tale" the women told to the disciples. The women forced the men to see the world in a whole new light, new possibilities when there was only death.
Today I ask God to replace all my anxieties with hope and new possibilities. May we live as people who, despite violence, challenge, abuse and constant discrimination, may see that there is still MORE. God is working even in the darkest nights of our lives, even when grief and loss overwhelm us.

No comments: