Matthew 28:5-10 (Voice) 5 The messenger spoke to the women, to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. Messenger of the Lord: Don’t be afraid. I know you are here keeping watch for Jesus who was crucified. 6 But Jesus is not here. He was raised, just as He said He would be. Come over to the grave, and see for yourself. 7 And then go straight to His disciples, and tell them He’s been raised from the dead and has gone on to Galilee. You’ll find Him there. Listen carefully to what I am telling you. 8 The women were both terrified and thrilled, and they quickly left the tomb and went to find the disciples and give them this outstandingly good news. 9 But while they were on their way, they saw Jesus Himself. Jesus (greeting the women): Rejoice. The women fell down before Him, kissing His feet and worshiping Him. Jesus: 10 Don’t be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee. Tell them I will meet them there.
Do not be afraid. Go. Tell. These are simple words, clear instructions that are at the heart of the message that the resurrected Jesus offers to those first followers to encounter him. Do not be afraid. Go. Tell. These simple words are at the heart of the message that the resurrected Jesus has for us today as well.
The vignette that occurs right after Jesus resurrection is indicative of the way that Jesus enters our lives and meets us where we are. First, he tells us not to be afraid. Don’t misunderstand, those words don’t come with judgement of anger, but rather understanding and grace. The message behind those words is not a hard command to eliminate fear, but rather a gentle reminder that because Jesus is with us, you don’t need to be afraid.
Go. After comforting us with the promise of his presence, we are then called and sent to go out into the world – each of us to a different part of this world, where we are uniquely gifted to reach. This calling is also an invitation. Jesus is telling us to go and join him in the mission and ministry of God. This is sometimes called the Missio Dei, which is a way to capture a fuller picture of all the work of God in this world. We are called by God to go and join in with this work.
Tell. While we are have different gifts and abilities, that were given by God so that we might bring to our communities the unique offering that only we possess, there is a thread that runs through all of our callings, that we are to tell – or maybe better, to share. Whatever we do, however we do it, Jesus is calling us to do it in a way that tells and shares what we know and have experienced: God’s love, God’s presence, and God’s grace.
Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to remember that you are with us and not be afraid. Fill us with your Spirit so that we can go and tell of your love and grace. Amen.