Saturday, March 26, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Resurrection, celebrating boundless transformation
Matthew 28:1-10
  
Rev M P Samuel

Mar Thoma Church Atlanta

5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.  
 
He has risen. Yes He has risen”. The people of the early church used to greet one another with these words when they met. For them, the day of the resurrection of Jesus was a day that brought joy and hope in their life. Thus resurrection became the foundation stone of the faith of the Christian church.
In this passage, we read, Matthew’s description of the first experience of the early church with the resurrection of Jesus. At the dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb and they got the first experience of the resurrection. For those who experience the resurrection, they are celebrating the boundless transformation. What are the things that are transformed through the resurrection of Jesus?
1. Transformation of the symbols and spaces
The empty tomb and the stone rolled back became new symbols with the resurrection of Jesus. As the cross, which was the symbol of curse, became transformed into the mark of salvation with the death and resurrection of Jesus, so also the tomb and the stone got a new meaning with the resurrection. Tomb is the symbol of death and hopelessness. But with the resurrection of Christ, it became the representation of the new possibility. Similarly, the stone symbolizes the obstacles. The rolled back stone points to God’s action beyond human obstacles.
2. Transformation of person and community
The resurrection transformed the people and the community. The disciples were afraid and scattered with the crucifixion of Jesus. They were in a desperate mood and they didn’t even have any aim in their life. The women went to the tomb and they were confronted with the fact of the empty tomb and the risen Christ. The encounter with the risen Christ changed these women and the disciples and they began to witness the risen Christ without fear. The risen Christ transformed the person and the community of Jesus.
3. Transformation of the message
Now the church has a new message. Jesus Christ has risen. The words of the angel to the women describe the transformation of the message, “…I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen…”. They had an understanding that Christ was crucified and died, but now they have a new message to proclaim. Thus the church became the witness of that transformed message to transform the world.
The celebration of the Easter challenges us to be agents of transformation. Let us uphold the symbols of life in our celebration of Easter. May the encounter with the risen Christ help us to be transformed and to proclaim the message of the risen Christ to transform this world.

PRAYER

Risen Lord, with Your resurrection You transformed us. Help us to witness the message of resurrection through our celebration. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
The transformed people with the transformed message transforms the world.