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St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church: Believing without actually seeing
Apr 12, 2012 | 65 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church celebrated of Easter Sunday and Reverend Gina Frnka as the pastor. Neil Nichols served as Lay Minister, and John Greve and Joseph Avalos served as the Readers. The sanctuary was adorned with multicolored wild flowers to accent the event of a new beginning at Easter. A cross outside the church was also decorated with the many colored flowers. It is indeed a happy occasion to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The First Reading was Acts 10:34-43. Peter tells them that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit after his baptism. Then Christ began his teaching, preaching and healing ministry. He continued with the fact that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead. Jesus then commanded them to preach to the people and testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. “All the prophets testify about him that everyone in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

The Second Reading was 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. Paul reminds them of the “good news” he proclaimed to them about how Christ died for our sins, was buried, and raised on the third day in accordance to the scriptures. Jesus appeared to the apostles and they saw and heard him and ate with him. There were witnesses to his resurrection.

The Gospel of John 20:1-18 was read by Reverend Frnka. This is John’s account of the witnesses who saw Jesus when he had risen from the grave. Mary Magdalene first discovered the tomb empty and Jesus’ body was gone. She told the disciples and Peter and the rest went to the tomb to discover it was truly empty. The wrappings were there but there was no body. Later Mary returned and was weeping outside the tomb. First two angels appeared to her to tell her not to be dismayed. Then Jesus himself appeared and only when he called her name, “Mary,” did she realize that it was Jesus. He told her to tell the disciples that he was going to go to his Father, God, my God and your God. Mary ran to tell them and said, “I have seen the Lord!”

Reverend Frnka related how amazing all of these events were. She asked, “How do we receive this wonderful truth?” Are we as mystified and amazed as Mary and the disciples were? Peter and the others were shocked and did not fully understand how this all happened. The heavy stone was rolled away and Jesus’ body was gone. The wrappings were neatly laid there. Mary thought that someone had come and taken her Lord away. Then she sees him, but did not recognize him until he called her name, “Mary.” She was not allowed to touch him, for he had not yet gone up to his Father.

The incidents show how many different ways they reacted to the resurrection and to the wonderful happenings. Can we also accept all this? Do we have to be called by name, as Mary was? We believe without actually seeing him, but we know in our hearts it is true. They saw angels and Jesus and still had a difficult time believing. Jesus said that he would leave the Spirit with them, and the Spirit would never leave them. It is the same with us that we believe through the Spirit and know that Christ is in our hearts also. The Resurrection marks the beginning of a new way of life. We receive the Spirit and by his grace we know when he calls our name to come to him.
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