I always feel as though Holy Week is a holy rush. The speed with which we turn from palms and Hosannas on Palm Sunday, to betrayal and arrest on Maundy Thursday and death on Good Friday strikes me, every year, as astonishingly rapid, leaving the worshipper, the mourner on Good Friday wondering, “How? How did this happen?” It is as though we are running from the moment Christ enters Jerusalem only to stop abruptly at Golgotha. But Sunday morning, as Rev. Milton Fraser so delightfully put it today, we lace our shoes back on and the running begins anew. Disciples – male and female – run to and from the tomb. Running to investigate, running to report, running in confusion, running in fear, running in joy. After the literal dead-stop of Friday and Saturday, such rushing and running on Sunday is a beautiful juxtaposition: lively and energetic compared with the stillness of despair and death.
But, as Milton pointed out, the importance of the running of Easter Sunday is not limited only to that long-ago Resurrection Day, but is a valuable symbol for us today. What, Milton asked from the pulpit, would the church look like if we strapped on our own metaphorical running shoes and ran out into the world? What would it mean for us to pick up the ideas Jesus laid down, and run with them? How would it change what it means to be church if we injected that same enthusiasm, that same abandon, that same energy despite fear and unknowing and unsurety into how we exist as a community?
Just as Mary Magdelene knew Jesus when he called her by name, so too do we know Christ’s call when we apprehend that is a personal call, one intended for us by One who knows us intimately, deeply, truly. When we hear that call and know Him, it is time – in joy, in spirit, in fear and in courage – to start running.