By Carol DeSchepper, Spiritual Director
“Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.” John 20:1
Alleluia! He is risen!! He is risen, indeed!
Today we celebrate the joy of resurrection. The sadness we felt on Friday is dissipated by the words of the angel. “He isn’t here. He has been raised from the dead.” (Matthew 28:6) They are words that share the announcement of resurrection, not just for Christ, but also for us! We light the paschal candle and we visually see the light of Christ with us. The stone has been rolled away and we rejoice, for He is risen!
Ponder with me the thought of the stone being rolled away. Why was the stone rolled away? The physical walls of a structure had never kept Christ out or in. Elsewhere in scripture He appeared to the disciples, even though the doors were locked. The stone was not rolled away so Christ could come out. The stone was rolled away so that we can come in. The tomb becomes an entrance into the heart of the eternal and shows us that the heart of God is love and life. God rolls the door of the tomb away to allow us to see that Christ's promises are true. The stone is rolled away for us to know intimately, the humanity and divinity of God’s love.
So today we, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, begin anew our walk with Jesus. He comes to us. Do we recognize him? Do we know Him in the scriptures, as He opens them up to us? Do we know Him in the breaking of the bread? What will be our response to His presence with and among us? Are we willing to boldly embrace the opportunity, indeed the command, to share the good news of his dying and rising with those that do not yet know?
One of my favorite Easter hymns is Alleluia, Alleluia, Let the Holy Anthem Rise. Today we experience the joy expressed in those words. Today we rejoice because the stone is rolled away and Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Resources for Spiritual Growth and Development
Center for Action and Contemplation
Fr. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan of the New Mexico Province and the Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This is a wonderful spiritual resource from author and retreat and conference speaker, and spiritual "midwife". Joyce has a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in English, a M.R.E. (Masters in Religious Education), and a M.A. (Master of Arts) in Transpersonal Psychology. She is a member of the Servite Community (Servants of Mary) and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years. She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa. To sign up for her monthly newsletter go to email@example.com.
Daily Grace from Women of the ELCA (WELCA)
Daily Grace is an on-the-go companion for your journey, offering a faith reflection every day. Encounter God’s extravagant, boundless and often surprising grace by signing up for a daily email message. You can also download the newly updated app for your IOS and Android devices.
God Pause Daily Devotion
Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience.
Melissa's Prayer Journal: The Power of Prayer in the Face of Cancer
ELCA Daily Bible Reading
There you will find a link to sign up.
If you are drawn to Lectio Divina as a prayer practice, Lectio365 is a daily devotional virtual resource that helps you pray the Bible every day. Written by leaders from the 24-7 Prayer movement, this resource helps you engage with the word, fix your eyes on Jesus, and connect with God in prayer.
TEXT & AUDIO – Read or listen to every devotional.
The app is free and is available through the Google Play store.
Spiritual Direction – Seeking a Spiritual Companion
Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul. (Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, USA)
Some of you may wish to seek a spiritual director as a way to nurture your own spirituality. Spiritual maturity and growth is critical for the parish nurse. As you support others in body, mind, and spirit, tending to your own soul is important. Spiritual Direction is only one way of keeping yourself centered and grounded spiritually. You perhaps have other disciplines and practices that meet this need for you.
Contact Carol DeSchepper for a more in-depth discussion of Spiritual Direction, including access to a web site to locate a Spiritual Director.