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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 21, 2012

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 21, 2012 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 20, 2012
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 21, 2012

      **********

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
      here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
      Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
      for forwarding this to your friends.

      Go and tell!

      "After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was
      dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to
      see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earth-
      quake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from
      heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
      The angel's appearance was like lightning, and his
      clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards
      shook and became like dead men. But the angel said
      to the women, 'Do not be afraid; I know that you are
      looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here;
      for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the
      place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his
      disciples, "He has been raised from the dead, and
      indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there
      you will see him." This is my message for you.'"
      Matthew 28:1-7

      The first evangelists were women who had courageously
      served Jesus Christ while he was alive. These brave
      souls had refused to leave him as he painfully died
      on the cross and risked their lives in their public
      identification with him. These loyal women had even
      followed the body of Jesus to the borrowed tomb where
      he was so hastily buried before their Sabbath. They
      were reluctant to leave him even in death.

      At dawn on the third day, these faithful women had
      hurried to the gravesite with what they believed
      would be their final act of love and devotion. Their
      plan was to anoint the body with burial spices. Who
      would roll away the enormous stone that blocked the
      entrance to the borrowed tomb? Even with their
      combined strength, the huge boulder would be far
      too heavy for them to budge. The two determined
      Marys stepped out in the faith they had; trusting
      God would help them in their great need for physical
      assistance. Although it seemed highly unlikely,
      perhaps the Roman guards at the gravesite might take
      pity on them and lend their brute strength, if only
      for a moment.

      The women never expected to find the heavily armed
      guards unconscious. What the guards had seen was too
      fearful to bear for even the bravest and strongest
      professional soldiers among them. As the women
      tentatively approached the chaotic scene, littered
      with rubble from the earthquake and limp soldiers
      on the ground like rag dolls, they saw a dazzling
      angel. His clothes were more brilliant than snow.
      As the women gasped in shock and amazement, the angel
      spoke reassuring words to them; they could scarcely
      believe their eyes and ears. The tomb was empty.
      Jesus was not there. The angel joyously proclaimed
      Christ was risen. Death was conquered. The trembling
      and terrified women were ordered to go and tell the
      inner circle of disciples that Jesus was alive and
      planned to meet them in Galilee.

      As one reads the other Gospel accounts of this universe-
      shattering event, while details may vary, the message
      is basically the same. Jesus was alive. Death could
      not hold him in the borrowed tomb. The world would
      never again be the same.

      Perhaps we should all tremble in holy awe and fear as
      we grapple with the enormous significance of this event
      and what it means for us. Today's story offers many
      lessons. Through the risen Christ, we have all
      received a divine message of hope that must be shared
      with others. Share that hope through word and deed.

      Death no longer has victory over our lives. There is
      life beyond the grave. From the very beginning of the
      resurrection, God broke traditional gender barriers
      and cultural role stereotypes by using women to share
      spiritual truth through egalitarian leadership roles
      with men. Do not be afraid, for God is willing and
      eager to use you too. It matters not if you are gay
      or straight, male or female, partnered or single, young
      or old. Go and tell!

      God, thank you for this message of hope and resurrection.
      Open our eyes to new life in Christ. Help us as we share
      our faith in Jesus Christ to others in word and deed.
      Amen.

      Grace and peace,
      Chi Rho Press

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