Aug 8, 2008

On a typical sunday morning at church in America.

Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).

From the Gospel According to John

And so it is in most churches in America. They have taken my Lord, and I don't know what they have done with him.

Revisionist theologian John Spong says that after Jesus died, they took his body and threw it in the garbage pit, where the wild dogs ate him. Clearly, Spong was speaking for himself and his cohorts in the Episcopal Church.

But what about the "good" churches? What have they done with Jesus? Locked him up between the heavy covers of a book as "The Word", only to be freed for brief moments at the pastors command? Placed under lock and key in a tabernacle built to imitate Hebrew Temple worship? Memorialized him? Forgotten him altogether? Banned him?

Mary didn't find Jesus where she expected to (tomb = church). Not only did she find him outside of the church building, she didn't even recognize him, mistaking him for "Hey-suess" the gardener.
But he called her name. He calls yours and mine.

Shall we exit the tomb and enter The Church?

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