He is Not Here!
New Revised Standard Version
1-2 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." 3-5 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6-10 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes. 11-12 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13-14 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15-16 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). 17-18 Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
It’s Easter! Jesus is risen!
For many followers of Jesus, Easter is the thing upon which all other theology rests. It is the point in the space-time continuum that changes all of human history. It is the event through which the entire cosmos is reoriented toward life, rather than death.
For us at Church at the Park, Easter is a yearly occasion to remember that the brokenness and pain of the world is not the only reality toward which we ought to attune ourselves. All is not lost; and the promise of redemption is available for each of us, no matter the lowness nor darkness we may face.
It is also a reminder to rethink our habits of using violence to solve our problems. Jesus is the only murder victim in history to get a chance to face his murderers... and he doesn’t take revenge. May we find the courage to copy Jesus in our own ways. And may we experience the gift of new life in our own attempts to break the world’s addiction to violence.
Outward Mindset Application
Do one thing for a co-worker that you know they would appreciate, but that you have been resisting.
Pathways Toward Centeredness
Asceticism (loving the world through Solitude and Simplicity): Do you sleep with your phone next to your bed? This week, try placing it in another location in your room (or in a different room!). See if you can stay off your phone for the 30 minutes before going to bed and after waking up.
Questions for Reflection
When do you experience the greatest joy? Do you think it’s actually possible for the world to move away from violence? What is one part of life you’d like to experience “newness” around?
Church at the Park is joining the St. Thomas Covenant community for Easter this year! St. Thomas is hosting three opportunities to celebrate holy week:
Maundy Thursday (April 6), 6:00-7:15pm:
This service occurs around a table. We will eat, sing, hear a brief homily, and participate in The Eucharist together.
Good Friday (April 7), 6:00-7:00pm:
We observe Good Friday with a Tenebrae service - The Service of Tenebrae, or “shadows,” dates back to eighth-century Rome and is a telling of the Passion narrative (the hours leading up to and following the death of Jesus) intermixed with songs that help add context to the narrative as it unfolds. The service grows darker as Jesus passes away and invites the participants to reflect on Jesus' death without so quickly jumping to his resurrection.
Easter Sunday (April 9) 10:00-11:15am:
In many ways it is a typical St Thomas service, but hopefully with a bit more joy and energy. All are welcome!
St.Thomas Covenant Church
546 High St
Salem, OR 97301
“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.
Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.