Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Pastor John Writes:
Over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate the two parts of a typical funeral or memorial service in our Moravian tradition. In the sanctuary, we often hear the memoir of someone we’ve known, and sometimes we learn something new about that person. The memoir gives some insight into each person’s life, and helps celebrate what makes each person unique.
Following the service in the sanctuary, we usually process to the graveyard for the burial service. Except for the music played by the band, the liturgy we pray for each burial service is relatively the same, reminding us that we are all equal in death, no matter how our earthly lives were lived. This is part of our view of the “democracy of death” reflected in the sameness of the gravestones in our graveyard. We are all equal in God’s eyes.
Although Jesus’ tomb was a desolate place, it still attracted a large number of people. All four Gospels describe the first Easter morning, and in each account, there are many people involved. We can recognize that the first witnesses to the Easter events were unique characters, who remained unique. Peter denied Jesus, confessed Jesus as Lord, and also argued with Jesus. Mary Magdalene had been the host of seven demons.
Easter teaches us the great lesson that life triumphs over death, and through Jesus, death has lost its power. The Easter story in our Gospels continues to remind us that it is the unique and distinctive traits of each person involved which give these events their eternal significance.
We all have our unique skills, perspectives, and lives we lead. Each one of our voices is needed in God’s kingdom. May we use our voices, and use our lives, to bear witness to the ongoing wonder of Easter.
Peace to you at Easter, and always,
The Rev. John G. Rights