For many years, I called Sunday “the Sabbath.” And certainly many of us treat Sunday as a Sabbath day. However, the Sabbath recognized by Jesus (and all Jews) begins on Friday at sunset and ends at sunset on Saturday. The reason the church gathers on Sunday morning is not because it is the traditional Sabbath, but because it is the “Lord’s Day.” In other words, every Sunday is a “little Easter,” because every Sunday is a reminder that it was on the first day of the week that Jesus rose from the dead.
Easter Sunday has come and gone – but the impact of Jesus’ resurrection echoes in history and in our lives. Indeed, we meet the Risen Christ not just in church on the first day of the week, but in the very midst of our lives. Remember when the angel told the women that “Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you”? Galilee was HOME to the first disciples. It was the place where most of the disciples had grown up and where much of Jesus’ ministry had taken place. Jesus was telling them he would meet them in the most familiar of places. They didn’t need to travel to exotic lands or even seek out traditionally “religious” institutions. For those with eyes to see, Jesus would be right in the midst of them.
That still hasn’t changed. Jesus continues to be a living presence in the lives of his disciples. The joy of Easter is that the Living Christ continues to reveal himself to those who love him – and he often does so in the most personal and powerful ways. He does it in the “Galilee-places” of our lives.
I know there are many of us who have experienced the renewing and transforming energy of the Living Christ. Sometimes we see his Spirit at work in very public ways (like the baptisms of six new disciples on Easter Sunday!). But more often than not, our encounter with Christ is a very personal experience.
As he did in the garden on the first Easter when he called Mary by name, so Jesus also calls each of us by name. And not just on the first day of the week. The places he meets us with the power of his love and forgiveness are in the most familiar places in our lives. If we hear that call and answer in faith, then it makes sense for us to join with the rest of God’s “resurrection people” as we worship in Spirit and joy. Come, then, and join us every Sunday as we celebrate and witness to the power of the Risen Lord.