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ScriptureJohn 20:1-18

Action:  “Early in the morning…” Get up early – for sunrise if you can.  Read this passage as you watch light come into the new day.  Imagine light coming into your heart, your mind, your life – Christ is risen!  Repeat Mary Magdalene’s words to the disciples out loud:  “I have seen the Lord!”  If you are with others, share with each other one way that you have “seen the Lord” – one way you’ve experienced Christ in your life thanks to the resurrection.

The Morning of the Resurrection, Edward Burne-Jones (1882)

Here’s how we have “seen the Lord”…

Mary tells the disciples: “I have seen the Lord.”

I have, too.

Like Mary, I’ve gone looking for Jesus when it was still dark. Like Mary, I’ve felt overwhelmed by despair. I, too, have felt confused and afraid.

And yet, like Mary, I can testify that I’ve seen Him. He came to me when I wasn’t looking for Him, and He asked me the question I needed to hear. I heard the Lord call me by name, and I’ve heard Him give me direction.

My testimony is my Good News. He is alive and can be seen.

– Pastor Jeff Mathis, First Baptist Church

Like Mary Magdalene, I can say that I have seen the Lord.  I have felt him as a warmth in my heart, as a light bulb in my mind, and in the bigness of my soul that comes when looking at a mountain view.  But most often, I have seen the Lord in others:  in acts of self-sacrificial love that resemble what Christ did for us on the cross.  I have seen the Lord when someone greater than me chooses to humbly serve and love me.  Experiencing that moves me to tears, every time, because I know it’s the way Christ served his disciples – and the way he serves us.

– Pastor Mary Brown, First United Methodist Church

I see the Lord as I read, hear, and try to live out Scripture.  “The word of God is alive and active,” Hebrews says, “sharper than any double-edged sword.”  We in the Presbyterian tradition take this to refer to both the written word of God (the Bible)and the living word of God (Jesus himself).  So when I read Psalm 91 amidst the coronavirus, or hear John 20 on Easter morning, I can trust that this isn’t just ancient rhetoric or someone else’s news. It’s God’s gracious word to all of us, illumined by the Spirit of the risen Lord. 

– Pastor Blake Daniel, First Presbyterian Church

I have felt the warmth of Jesus’ hand guiding me through dark and light times. The gladness in knowing I have pleased him and the sadness in knowing I have ignored him. I see him in the faces of all of you, the laughter of our children and his love through our servants. 

– Jessica Green, Director of Spiritual Formation at First United Methodist Church