Week beginning15th April
The Message: Matthew 27:55 ‘There were also quite a few women watching from a distance, women who had followed Jesus from Galilee in order to serve him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary, the Mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the Zebedee brothers.’
The women who followed and supported Jesus were never far away. They watched as he was crucified, some watched as he was laid in the tomb, and came to keep vigil, where they witnessed the roll back of the stone covering the tomb’s entrance. Although frightened, they did not run away, and were reassured by the angel. They were the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection. What a range of emotions they must have experienced as they ran to tell the disciples, and there in front of them causing them to pause, was Jesus, who affirmed that they should go to the disciples with the message to meet him in Galilee.
As this was happening, the soldiers who had been sent to guard the tomb reported what had happened to the Chief Priest, who with the other religious leaders then bribed the soldiers to say that the body had been stolen in the night. I wonder how those soldiers felt?
The culmination of Matthew’s account commissions the disciples to ‘Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.’ Jesus instruction clearly states that everyone is to be included. There are no ‘buts’, or exclusions.
Loving God, we are so grateful that all are able to follow your teaching if they so choose. We pray for guidance and grace to include all people in the invitation to join Christ’s followers. Help us to recognise the value of each person; the gifts and talents in their potential, and make every effort to allow them to flourish.
May we share the joy of the risen Jesus in ways that are natural to us, part of our being, our personality, our normal way of life, making it easy for others to understand and access.