After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake. the guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men. The women left the (empty) tomb in a hurry, afraid and yet filled with joy. (Matthew 28: 1-8)
You can read the same story many times and yet hear something new depending on your personal circumstances. Spirit spoke to my reality through these words of the Gospel. The changes in my life these months are profound and disrupting every facet of my life. I was tempted to go back to my former Notre-Dame-de-Grâce residence this week to see the sprouting of 200++ tulips and daffodils in the front garden. I resisted the temptation, there is no going back. I look at the new property and the absence of plants, trees and shrubs and realize I have so much work to do. I am in between what was and what will be, feeling more tired than excited by the prospects.
What does Easter joy have to do with earthquakes?
Joy will come to Jesus’ disciples after the horror and anguish of his senseless death. It is born out of the disruption and seismic shift in the fabric of how one understands endings and new beginnings. Resurrection power explodes into the cemetery where Jesus lay, rolling the grave rock away, bringing life where there was death and hopelessness.
Earthquakes shake up, destroy, unearth, and realign boundaries. They force a new emerging earth, new maps and paths through destructive changes. They are horrible to experience yet can lead to rebuilding stronger buildings on the ruins, up to new safety standard codes.
Easter Earthquake: a shaking up? a new world? a realignment and relearning? Sounds like a revolution and feels scary and unappealing.
Faith calls me to a deep spiritual shakeup this Easter season where there is fear before joy, tears and loss before being found and of senseless loss before new life.
The earthquake of Easter calls me to trust God in the realignments I am presently experiencing, that this powerful life force of resurrection will bring beauty and joy.
So I pray:
God, shake me from my placidness and comfort.
Meet me in my darkness, chaos,
and in the changes I do not understand.
Lead me from fear through the earthquake of faith into new life and joy.
From deep within I call to you:
Be my resurrection earthquake.
A blessed Easter season!
God of power, God of people,
you are the life of all that lives,
energy that fills the earth,
vitality that brings to birth,
impetus in making whole
whatever is bruised or broken.
In you we grow to know the truth
that sets all creation free.
You are the song the whole earth sings,
the promise liberation brings,
now and forever.
(Celebrate God’s Presence, UCC, p.193)