I am NOT a morning person, although I have become much more of an early riser as the years have progressed. I am often in the office between 7 and 8 am. I can get up very early to go fishing. As I reflected on being a morning person, I came to the realization that we (Christians) are really all morning people.
Every year we rise at Easter. We tell the old, old story of the women, the angel, the stone rolled away, the empty tomb, the risen Christ and the sending of the disciples. There is even a hymn in the Methodist hymnal that reminds us of this saying, "Easter people raise your voices!" We truly are morning people.
Fredrick Buechner said, "Every morning you should wake up in your bed and ask yourself: “Can I believe it all again today?”" The two Marys woke up and I am sure that question was in their thoughts. They, as we might emulate, prepared for the worst, getting spices the night before (Mark 16). They were in conversation ... "Who will roll the stone away?" They were probably in quiet reflection ... "What will I do when I see him? Can I handle this?" What they found shouts two words I should hear every day ... "Wake up!"
I need to wake up and believe it all again ... not from what I see unfold but from what I know about God. Before I get out of bed. Before I shower. Before I drink my coffee. Before I have breakfast. Before anything ... I need to remind myself that we are Easter people who believe! I need to open my eyes and start watching for what God is doing, because He is always working.
I need to wake up and see the stones rolled away. Lauren Daigle sings a new song called, "Still Rolling Stones." When I believe it all again, I need to extend that belief to a God capable of rolling away obstacles. Last week we looked at the items available for auction in our annual Missions Auction. All of us observed that there were no really large items ... just 46 smaller items. They were all great gifts, desirable things ... just not what one would call "big ticket." We saw the obstacle. God had other plans as we watched and marveled. After all was completed, we had raised $40K for missions ... the best total ever. For all that had worked, planned and struggled, it was a reminder ... God is still rolling stones away.
I need to wake up and see angels. I am not talking about the winged creatures dressed in white (though God could surely send them). I am talking about those people and words God sends to you that tell you what God is saying. "Peace ... be still." I heard those words last week as I was in the midst of what I saw as 'more than I can handle.' I heard them as my mind was flooded with what needed to be done during Holy Week. God (through people, Scripture, remembered experience) said, "I've got this ... it isn't up to you!" The moved stone ... the risen Jesus ... the angel ... all happened by God's action and command. The two Marys did nothing ... except wake up and go!
I need to wake up and believe that Jesus is living! "We serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today!" We sing it often ... but do we come awake enough to believe it? The world is certainly out of OUR control ... but what about God? Do we believe? Is God rolling stones away? Are their celestial beings among us working toward God's plan? Is Jesus alive?
The story ends with calling. "Wake up ... Jesus is risen ... Go to Galilee where you will get further instructions!" I need to wake up and go! Mark's story says ... "You will see Him there! (Mark 16:7)" I wonder how often we miss Him by staying? We hear the old, old story 'of Jesus and His love' but it doesn't move us. Two Marys moved beyond their comfort zone ... they woke up and went to the tomb. The stone moved by the power of God. The angel left his celestial post and went to the empty tomb. Mary left the tomb and found the living Jesus in the garden. The disciples woke up and went to Galilee. Fredrick Buechner said, "Every morning you should wake up in your bed and ask yourself: “Can I believe it all again today?”" Christ the Lord is risen TODAY ... Alleluia! Randy