“He is risen! Alleluia! Now get back to work!”
That seems to be the message from the angel in the Gospel of Matthew text that we read today.
There are a great many shocking things happening in this story—an angel, an earthquake, the guards collapsing comatose in fear and astonishment.
But the angel has a very straightforward and pragmatic message along with the stunning news that Jesus has been raised from the dead. “Return to Galilee.”
What does that mean?
Well, we have a choice as to what it means.
It means, first of all, to return to where it all began.
Galilee was where the disciples lived when Jesus called them.
It is where Jesus began his ministry.
The reality is that the disciples have to return to Galilee no matter what. But they have a choice as to what it means for them.
Are they returning to Galilee because Jesus’ life and ministry ended with his death?
Will they give up and go home?
Will they leave this part of their lives behind them and go back to normal, responsible family and community life?
If they disavow Jesus, they could probably get their old jobs back.
They could pick up their fishing nets, embittered, cynical, and angry at Jesus, who promised them everything and then got himself killed, but secure and comfortable in the old, familiar ways.
Or they could accept and experience the Resurrection. Continue reading