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Alleluia!  Christ is Risen!!  We are so used to proclaiming this good news every Easter that we can easily forget that in Mark’s Gospel there is no proclamation that first Easter morning.  Mark’s telling of the resurrection ends abruptly, not with proclamation but with fear and silence.  In Mark’s account, the followers of Jesus were not yet able to proclaim the Good News of the resurrection.  Which got me thinking…

What might keep us silent in the face of resurrection?

It’s not hard to understand why the women who first encountered the empty tomb might have struggled to make the leap to joy and celebration. They had just experienced the horror and trauma of Good Friday, which is not something that just disappears in a moment.  Plus, who could possibly understand what they experienced at the empty tomb unless they had also experienced the crucifixion?  Who could understand the depth of their grief or the immensity of their fear?  Who could understand the terrifying hope that the empty tomb presented - that maybe, just maybe, the cross was not the end of the story?

Similarly, who can truly understand the joy of our resurrection moments if we have not first shared with them our pain and hurt?  Can we truly share the Good News of what God has done in our lives if we haven’t first shared our pain?

This is a difficult thing for many of us.  To share our deepest pain is a vulnerable thing.  It means letting other people see the reality of our hurt, our messiness, our imperfection.  But this is also where we find our common humanity AND it is where we experience the power of resurrection.

It is in these vulnerable moments that the power of God’s life giving love can most clearly be seen.   And it is in our vulnerability that we can most deeply connect with one another.  When we open up to one another in this way we find that we are not alone in our pain and we create opportunities to care for one another - to be the presence of Christ for one another.

The joy of the Easter story is overwhelming and life changing BECAUSE it is a reversal of something as horrible as the cross.  It is a promise that God can see us through the absolute worst that we experience in our lives and that God WILL see us through even death itself and restore us to life.  So, this Easter, I invite you to share the fullness of your story with the important people in your life.  Allow others to be beside you in your pain and in your joy.  By sharing our stories of suffering AND our stories of healing we are able to more fully bear witness to the good news of the resurrection.  The promise that God can restore us from death into life.  Alleluia!  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed, Alleluia!