Despite the cold, dull and windy morning we were greeted by birdsong and blossom in the park reminding us that although the temperature seemed to be telling us otherwise the spring season was upon us.
Setting the scene we read John 20:11-18
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
“11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.”
- We heard about Jesus and his radical relationship with women during his ministry. In Jesus society men were not allowed to speak to women in public. Jesus talked to them openly and on equal terms with men. (e.g. Mary from Mary and Martha, the Samaritan woman at the well, the women who numbered among his followers and who supported him from their own means etc.) Was appearing to Mary Magdalene first after the resurrection a deliberate act on Jesus part?
- We talked about Jesus and Mary in the garden and linked it to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden – how all had been put right through Jesus death and resurrection.
- We took time listening for God’s voice, being aware of his presence – just as Jesus called Mary by name he could call us by name too.
- We heard remarkable poetry that blessed us, affirmed who we are and what we are doing.
Bringing us together: Community by William Stafford, Right Hear, Right Now by Peter Matthiassen
Sharing the bread and wine
“On their own, the bread and wine are nothing. To become a foretaste and a promise of love made real and a world made whole, they need a story and a blessing and a people who believe… ” Jonny Baker
Closing responses – Wellspring
In the beginning God created all things
AND GOD SAW THAT THEY WERE GOOD
At our beginning, God created us
UNIQUE AND IRREPLACEABLE
LOVED BY GOD AND WANTED BY GOD
KNOWN TO GOD AND TREASURED BY GOD
EVEN BEFORE HE CREATED US.
In all our new beginnings, God creates something new
SO WE WILL SEEK GOD
IN THE FRESHNESS OF MORNING
IN THE LAUGHTER F FRIENDS
IN THE COLOURS OF CREATION
AND IN THE WARMTH OF SPRING-TIME SUNSHINE
Lord God, King of Creation,
OPEN OUR EYES TO SEE YOUR PRESENCE
OUR SOULS TO SENSE YOUR PRESENCE
AND OUR HEARTS TO LOVE YOUR PRESENCE
EVER HERE IN YOUR CREATION
AND EVER BEYOND IT IN ETERNITY.