"This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."
"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen."
Scripture from NRSV
"The act of crucifixion and resurrection is that of a relationship most personal and general, at the same time. While on a personal level, each one of us sees in the crucifixion and resurrection a narrative that speaks to one’s situation, affiliations, afflictions and expectations; on a more general level Easter summarizes relationships and their history with the Divine, faith within the Church and the City and ways in which we reciprocate with others. Essential in both the personal and general relationship is the sense of hope that Easter engenders. The transition from life to death to life again of Jesus Christ is not only symbolic as it takes on practical consequences one of which is how the act of Resurrection brings people together in faith, community and the hope for the life beyond."
Today we at DisciplesNet invite you to reflect on these words from Dr. Bernard Sabella, who is the Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches' Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees, a partner of Global Ministries. It reminds us that Easter is so much more that the story of our personal salvation. It speaks to the redemption of the whole world. This is an excerpt from a longer reflection about Easter celebrations on the Global Ministries page with News from the Middle East (click here to open), where he lovingly describes Easter in Jerusalem among Palestinian Christians. We are also reminded of all the joyous and solemn celebrations that will take place on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter around the world.
All around the world, Christians will sit together in quiet settings to take communion in remembrance of that first supper on Thursday; they will mourn on Good Friday; and on Easter morning, they will celebrate the miracle that has set us free. As you greet your fellow worshippers this Sunday, consider offering the marvelous greeting used by our Orthodox sisters and brothers:
"Christ is risen!"
and the response,
"He is risen indeed!"
Prayer: Holy God, this week especially we remember, with Christians everywhere, the great sacrifice that your son made for us. In the quiet moments of our sadness, hear our prayers and petitions. In our exuberant joy at dawn on Easter, hear our thanksgiving for the gift that has been given for us. And always, keep us mindful that we are one in the Christ who died for us. Amen.