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Faith: Two approaches to Easter

All of us come to Easter Sunday with different life experiences and life realities.

Pastor Stephen Blenkush of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes
Pastor Stephen Blenkush, Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes.

"Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes." - John 20:3-10 

John (the other disciple) and Peter represent for me two different Easter Sunday  experiences.

John is the person who celebrates on Easter Sunday. He is the one for whom faith comes easy. He believes without seeing. He runs the fastest because he is the least encumbered. His burden is light.

Peter, on the other hand, is the one who comes with a heavy heart to Easter Sunday worship. He carried the burden of having betrayed a loved one. The prospect of seeing Jesus is mixed for Peter. What will he say to me? What will I say to him?

Peter, unfortunately, does not hang around the tomb long enough for the miracle to happen. Unlike Marty Magdalen, who stays behind to grieve and is met by Jesus. Peter must wait for Easter to happen to him.

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All of us come to Easter Sunday with different life experiences and life realities. Some of us are broken like Mary and wonder if we'll ever be whole again. Some of us are ashamed of ourselves like Peter and wonder if God’s forgiveness can ever reach our betrayal. Some of us are faithful like John and simply celebrate the love of God.

The Christian faith is all about new life, new birth, second chances and 70 second chances. The Christian faith is about love, forgiveness, reconciliation. It's about waging war against the powers of brokenness with the power of self-sacrificing love.

It's about God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. For Peter and John, and for us, Easter means that Christ is risen in them and they will never be the same again.

Let us pray: Dear Jesus, we come to this new day still thinking about Easter Sunday morning and your risen presence in our midst. Love us, heal us, forgive us and lead us. Bring the newness of your life to bear in us, that we might bear the newness of life into the world around us. In Jesus name. Amen.

Stephen Blenkush is pastor at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes.

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