Easter is the celebration of a community that found a new beginning. As Mary heads toward the tomb, she fully expected to encounter the body of Jesus, prone, covered by a cloth, shrouded in death. What she found that morning, was so shocking that she fled back to the companionship of the disciples. After her report is confirmed by two disciples, she remains by the tomb in shock and sorrow over what had been done.
So great is her weeping, she cannot fully understand what is being shared with her, even as Jesus calls her name. The rapid shift of perspective, the shock, the joy…all the emotions that were swirling together would have been disorienting. And then she is given the message to take back to the community of disciples. “Go tell my brothers that I go to my father and your father, my God and your God.” Ultimately, a message that they are family.
Easter is an invitation to a new family identity. The risen Lord, speaks good news for these disciples who have fled the crucifixion, have denied Jesus, have argued with one another…. He says, let us be a family. There are current stories of resurrection to be found where we fully expect death. When we receive unexpected discovery of life…, renewal…, restoration…, reconciliation…, recovery… and hope, the contemporary church gains new understanding of the family of God. These are stories that bring hope.