What is Easter anyway? Christians consider Easter to be the “first day.” From Easter comes the practice of worshiping on Sunday morning. It is the first day of the week. It is also the first day of new creation, sometimes called the “eighth day” of the week, for on it Christ restored the image of God in the human and in so doing also brought restoration and renewal to all of creation. The Easter season proceeds from and celebrates this first day. In the resurrected Christ, there is time after the end, life after death, restoration of what was broken, the brightening of what had gone dark. In the fifty days of Easter, Christian communities around the world strive to worship God in a way that illustrates that the body of Christ lives now in the heavenly places and also in the gathered body in the world. Worship is where heaven and earth meet.
Gospel: Luke 24:1-12
Evidently expecting to find Jesus’ corpse, some of his women followers go to the tomb with embalming spices. After a perplexing encounter with the empty tomb and angelic visitors, the women become the first to proclaim the amazing news of resurrection.
1On the first day of the week, at early dawn, [the women] came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.