Given by Rev. Madison Shockley April 12, 2020

Our reading today tells the story of Mary visiting Jesus’s tomb. This resurrection story was a funeral story. Jesus was dead. As was the custom, his followers prepared to mourn Jesus. The mourners planned to weep and tell the story of Jesus’s life. Jesus was killed for the crime of sedition. His words incited the people to rebel against the government. Everyone was preparing for a funeral. The Romans tried to deny them that opportunity by hiding and then placing the body in a tomb before he could be properly mourned. Mary told the story of seeing two angels in the tomb. Jesus had risen and was continuing his ministry. The Romans were thwarted. This was no longer a funeral but a celebration.  His movement lived on and the Romans could not do anything about it. Today, we have people dying. Their loved ones want to give them a proper farewell. This disease denies them that opportunity. The dying are isolated.  The unclaimed are placed in mass graves unmourned.  On this holiday, we are unable to gather in person to celebrate. The answer is to ask who is God. God is the answer we offer the world. God is love. We are going to have to love our neighbors like never before. An empty church means we are quarantining, showing how much we care for others. We can wait. There will be a time to celebrate together. Show the love!