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Jesus sent Mary first (yes, a woman) to share the news

April 10, 2023
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Daily Scripture

John 20:11-18

11 Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. 13 The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” 14 As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

As nearly as we can tell, the first person to see Jesus after he rose from the dead was his devoted disciple Mary of Magdala. At first Mary thought Jesus was “the gardener.” In John’s symbolism, he was—Adam and Eve failed in the original garden (cf. Genesis 2:8, 15), but Jesus would restore earth’s “garden” (cf. John 19:41, Romans 5:15-21). When Jesus called Mary by name, she had a deep, immediate sense of recognition. She no longer had to mourn her beloved Lord. He was alive!

  • Mary thought she was going to the tomb to finish preparing Jesus’ body for burial. Why not weep? Grieving a loss is healthy, not bad. Yet two angels (“in white,” not the color of sorrow) and a man she couldn’t identify all asked her, “Why are you crying?” Has God ever helped you see more to a painful or negative experience than just reason to grieve? What are you facing now that needs the touch of God’s life and hope?
  • When Jesus spoke her name, Mary rapidly moved from utter despair to unbelievable joy. How can you more and more come to know the “sound” of Jesus’ loving, caring voice “whispering” in your mind? What steps may help you make and keep your relationship with Jesus personal, linking your heart and his, rather than merely an academic exercise?
Prayer

Living Lord, help me never to fear tears and sorrow—and never to get stuck in them, either. Give me eyes to see people, situations and myself in the light of your eternal love. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Mindy LaHood

Mindy LaHood

Mindy LaHood serves on the Worship Experience team at Church of the Resurrection. She loves all things related to worship and enjoys working with our talented team of staff and volunteers. One of her favorite things to read about and study are stained glass windows, and she considers herself very blessed to work and worship in a place with such a magnificent window.

What brings you peace and hope?

I’ve been thinking about the word “peace” a lot lately. When life gets stressful and busy or circumstances cause anxiety or fear, peace is often what I find myself praying for.

There have been moments in life where I’ve felt like I need peace as much as I need air to breathe. I pray for it, I beg for it, I long for it. I don’t know about you, but the interesting thing about searching for pockets of peace is that the more I crave it, the more it seems to be in short supply. And this is when I’m left wondering where is the peace and hope that God promises throughout John, chapter 14?

I want there to be peace that leads me into a place of no worry, fear or anxiety. I want peace that brings rest. I seek the peace that ushers in hope.

Every morning I go for a walk. It’s not as much about the exercise as it is time to be alone with my thoughts…time to spend talking to God as if he were there walking right next to me. Today, when I finished my walk, I decided to pop into the sanctuary for a moment. It was quiet…no one else was in there. The only light coming in was the light from the outside shining through the stained-glass window. I sat and took a moment to think about Good Friday and Christ’s death on the cross, but then quickly switched gears to the promise and hope that his resurrection brings. I thought about all the people who will be sitting in those seats on Saturday and Sunday. People just like me who desire some moments of peace, rest, and hope.

The best part about sitting in a quiet, empty sanctuary is that I allow some space for God to speak to my heart…without any distractions. He reminded me that the peace that only he can provide is a peace that I don’t have to search for. I really don’t even have to ask him for it or beg him for it. It’s a peace he’s already given me. It’s been there all along. I just let the busyness of life take over and hide it from me.

He’s given me a peace and hope that will weather any and all storms…a peace I don’t deserve and a peace I absolutely will never understand. He alone is the source of that peace.

His word brings peace, his artistic handiwork in a sunrise brings peace, his blessing of a beautiful melody brings peace, his love shown to me through family and friends brings peace. I am no expert, and I am sure to falter along this journey to experience the peace that passes all understanding, but I’m grateful that God patiently loves me and teaches me on this journey. I’m never without peace and the hope that comes from walking with him.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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