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Tuesday Tidings April 2, 2024

Dearest Members of Bethlehem,


“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman why are you weeping?  Whom are you looking for?’” -John 20:15


For my birthday, I was gifted the book, “James,” by Percival Everett.  I am happy to report that it is an astounding piece of fiction, a profoundly imaginative and original work.


The premise?  The “James” for which the book is entitled is the “Jim” that accompanied “Huck” in Twain’s classic, “Huckleberry Finn.”  But, instead of simply re-telling Twain’s story, Everett has artfully told the story from the perspective of “Jim.”


It was amazing to see this classic narrative take shape through a whole new set of eyes, from a distinct perspective.  We’ve always had a sense of what Huckleberry thought of Jim, but now we can think through what Jim actually thought of Huck.  Everett gives voice to Jim’s care, concern, and compassion and it reminds us that there really are two sides to every story.


And in light of that insight… if you’re looking to garner a deeper appreciation of the impact of this Easter season, maybe we might change our perspective.  As we consider the work of the Gospel writers, we often go to the tomb, with the intent of looking in. 


When we approach the empty tomb, we have a sense of what we’ll see: Jesus gone, linen wrappings lying in there places, and angelic messengers.  Wonderful, of course, but what would it mean to take a different view of things?


Now, we can turn from the tomb and look out on a world that is in the process of being transformed.  Everything that Jesus said is true; he is the Messiah, he offers the world redemption.


There’s no going back to our old lives after the resurrection.  The world is changing, and so are we. 


As we stride away from Easter Sunday and the empty tomb hopefully our steps are a little lighter, and our spirits a little brighter; we have been forgiven, we have been promised eternal life, and our hope in a promising future is no longer a matter a mere optimism but is promised in and through the risen Christ.


It’s time to start crafting the next chapter in our story, have fun, and be creative!   


Question for reflection:  How long would you have spent at the empty tomb?  Where would you have gone from there?  How many people would you have told about what you witnessed? 


Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dan


Gracious God, may our celebration of Easter stretch into the days and weeks ahead.  May the light of Easter morning brighten every darkness.  And may the promise of the resurrection fill every day with a hope that encourages and inspires.  All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.

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