Easter Day 2017
April , 2017
Epistle: Colossians 3: 1-4
Gospel: John 20: 1-10
“Affections and Assumptions”
An older couple who’d been married for years was sitting down to eat breakfast when the wife asked her husband whether or not he would remarry if she died. Upon hearing this he became appalled and told her to forget that nonsense, he wasn’t having any talk like that to spoil his day. She relented but renewed the conversation that night before bed. Again, he resisted and told her to drop the subject. She persisted for several days until he finally broke and said, “Yes. Yes, I’d remarry.” “Well,” she said, “would you sell the house?” Flabbergasted at her continuance of the conversation he said, “No, I suppose not.” She continued, “What about our bed? Would you sell it?” Frustrated, he replied, “No. I don’t think I would.” “What about my gold clubs?” she further pressed. “No, of course not. I wouldn’t see your golf cubs. She’s left-handed.”
While somewhat humorous, this little anecdote points out some very serious issues in a relationship. The wife got concerned about where her husband’s affections might be and started making assumptions about how his life might be if she were gone, perhaps even worrying that he might already be thinking of such things.
We always need to be vigilant as to where our affections are and what assumptions we are making.
In our epistle reading from Colossians, Paul states that we are to “set [our] affections on things above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” When the concerns of the world overwhelm and rise up to threaten us, we should gravitate towards serving our Risen Lord and honoring Him instead of worrying. Though our fears may seem justified and palpable, we know that Jesus, who overcame death, and overwhelmed the forces of darkness will lead us to new life in Him no matter the outcome in this temporal state.
In our Gospel lesson, we read of Peter and John running to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning to try and make sense of Mary Magdalene’s report of it being empty. Prior to this point, the Disciples were keeping to themselves, even hiding, afraid the authorities would come after them next as they had killed Jesus. Fear had taken hold, and their hearts were overwhelmed by the pain of Jesus’ death. Nothing could have prepared them for Mary’s report. Being overcome with the need to know, John and Peter ran to the tomb. Being the younger of the two, John quickly outpaces Peter, but out of respect for the man who was accepted as the leader amongst the Disciples, he let Peter go first into the tomb. Noticing the grave clothes lying about, Peter didn’t seem to put the pieces together, but John, as he saw the linen that would cover one’s face sitting in the corner, seemed to come to an understanding that something amazing had happened. His assumptions began that God was doing something amazing. He was setting his mind on what God could in fact be doing.
Sometimes, we feel threatened by the challenges in this world. Although they may seem too immense to face or too hard to endure, we know that the Lord of Creation has promised us His ultimate protection against eternal night and death – proving His power through His own Resurrection. We can therefore assume that the Lord of Life by His own doing will meet our every need, and as on Easter, we rightly remember and proclaim, “Alleluia! The Lord is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!”