Potsdam United Methodist Church
Where we let Jesus shine! Where we invite, love and nurture ALL!
Sunday Worship
11:00am Service
Pastor Heidi R. Chamberlain
Information info@potsdamumc.org

See King II

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March 31st:

See King II
March 31, 2013 (Easter)
Potsdam and WS
Call:    John 20: 1-10
Text:    John 20: 11-18 Acts 10: 34-43
Read: W&S # 33

            SEE KING II

Mary Magdalene fascinates me and inspires me.

She particularly fascinates me and inspires me
   In John's story of the empty tomb.

There are four gospels
And there are four different stories of the empty tomb

Actually there are four different versions of the one story
   Each with its own details
   Some of which are inconsistent with those in other versions.

But despite the differences in detail, two things remain the same
   First,      That the tomb was empty
   Second   That Mary Magdalene was there
            Either alone or in a group of women

In John's telling of the good news
   She is alone - or at least the only one mentioned
And in John's telling,
   She  provides the primary human action.

We began to see that in the call to worship
   "Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw the stone had been removed ..."
Mary identified that there was a problem
   And instead of sitting in the garden
      Her head in her hands
      Wailing "Woe is Me!"

She went to get Jesus' closest advisors to help her deal with it.

Peter and another disciple (apparently John)
   Reached the tomb
   Went inside
   And discovered
      The linen wrappings and the cloth that had been on his head, all rolled up neatly
      (Unlike what you would expect from grave robbers)

The guys apparently shook their heads in bewilderment
   And returned to their homes.

Mary could have done likewise.

But she didn't [20: 11-18]

The men left
But Mary didn't.
Instead, she stood weeping outside the tomb

Her remaining in the garden undoubtedly came from
   Her love of Christ
And   Her pain in losing him

And to top it off
   She now found that she could not do,
the one thing she thought she could still do for him:
      Anoint him with the spices

And Mary could have stayed there crying
   And wallowing in self pity.

But she didn't
   She peeked into the tomb
   She saw two angels who asked her why she was weeping
      "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him."

And then, another man,
   who appeared to her to be the gardener - (but was actually Jesus) asked her the very same question
      "Woman, why are you weeping?"

And here is where I smile

For as she responds to him, I picture
   Mary,    standing straight up
         Pulling her shoulders back
and sticking her chest out
to convey confidence - despite her pain and hurt

   "Sir, if you have carried him away,
         tell me where you have laid him
         and I will take him away."

Do you see what his happening?

Mary from Magdalena
has responded to her discovery of the empty tomb
   Determination rather than resignation

She has responded
by not giving up and going home
but   instead actively and determinedly seeking her king

She responded, in other words
by doing exactly what we talked about four weeks ago
on the third of the six Lenten Sundays
      when we looked at the words of the unknown psalmist
and   the words of the well known prophet, Isaiah.

Four weeks ago is not a long time

Do we remember that that the psalmist and the prophet told us
   That our need to seek God
      is as essential to our lives  as water.
That without God
      our lives are dry and weary?

We should remember.

Do we remember the psalmist and prophet telling us,
   To seek the Lord that he may be found,
   To call upon him while he is near;

We should remember

Do we remember those two
   Urging the wicked to forsake their ways
   And the unrighteous to rid themselves of their thoughts
   And calling on them to return to the Lord
So he may have mercy upon them
   And   they might receive from God's abundant pardon.

We should remember.

This is Easter
This is for what we have been preparing for six weeks.

But we human beings have a track record of
not taking God seriously   long enough

And so God sends that message to us - again!
And God does so in the person of a first century woman
   Who, even after finding the tomb empty
   Continued to seek Jesus the Christ.

Is it any wonder that Mary Magdalene
Fascinates and inspires me?

Four weeks ago, we talked about how
the gift of God's presence,   is free     free to all.

And we noted that the only way we can be excluded
   Is by indicating that we'd rather do something else
      Than use our energy seeking Christ

Easter is a day of awe, amazement, and joy.
It is a day of triumph
It is a day of rejoicing and celebrating.
And it's a day that should inspire us
   To offer praise and thanksgiving
   And to be as much like Christ as we can be.

And one of the reasons you and I get to celebrate
   Is because some 2000 years ago,
 a woman from Magdelena
      refused to give up seeking her Lord and king
even when things seemed hopeless
and others had turned back

and when she found him
   she went back to those who had seemingly stopped seeking
   and announced to them,  "I have seen the Lord!"

Today as we stand in awe of the resurrection
   We say thank you to God for that gift
   We say thank you to God for the one who was not in the tomb
   We say thank you to God for the woman who kept seeking
      And for her showing us what we must do.