Easter Sunday, April 17 – “An Expansive Life”

View this recording of Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022.

Bible Verses

Luke 24:1-12

Full to the Brim – An Expansive Life

Snippets from the sermon by Rev. Christina Kukuk.

“When Mary and Joanna and the other Mary head to the tomb, in Luke’s story this morning, they are not looking for the living.

They go to attend the dead with their spices, they go to give tender care to the body of a loved one.

Bodies that are dead presumably remain dead, and the best we can do is to treat them with respect, with honor, which is what the women head to the tomb to do despite all that has gone wrong, all that is confusing, all that has been disorienting in the week before. They go to anoint the body with spices and pay their respects.

But something happens at that tomb that goes against everything they know to be true.

For one thing, there is no body where there is supposed to be a body. While the women are confused about that, two sparkling male messengers appear out of thin air–and they’re terrified.

The women go rushing to the disciples breathlessly declaring: ‘The tomb is empty!’ It was Mary Magdalene; Joanna; Mary, the mother of James; and the other women who brought this message.

These are women who’ve been there from the beginning following and supporting Jesus’s ministry all along the way through those sermons, through those healings, through those teachings and demonstrations.

But these words seemed to the disciples an idle tale and they did not believe them.

An idle tale. The greek word is Laros, and it’s usually reserved to describe the ranting of a person suffering from delirium. In other words, crazy talk.

It sounds like the disciples took one look at all these women, and began wondering what they’d been smoking or drinking on their morning stroll, whether they had lost their grip on reality. Maybe, whether the events of the week had been so traumatic that it had broken their minds.

Perhaps they especially looked long and warily at Mary Magdalene from whom we’re told not too many pages back, Jesus cast out 7 demons.

At this crazy tale of a missing body and sparkling men, the disciples grown, and roll their eyes, perhaps, and let out a sigh. Maybe a frustration as much as exasperation.

Jesus is gone. Rome still shoves us around. All that we hoped for, where is it now? The religious leaders are still out of touch and insular. Nothing has really changed, after all.

Perhaps the disciples are at this point thinking all that talk of God’s reign being so near, what if it was nothing more than idle tales?

It’s so fascinating to me that the English words used to translate what the disciples first heard is ‘idle tale’ at least in this translation, the new Revised Standard Version, ‘idle’ as If the words were useless, as if they don’t work. As if the audience knew nothing would come of what these women said.”