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Story Archives: Easter message: God's power over death
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|Easter message: God's power over death|
By. Rev. George Wortham
For many years I was a missionary in Chile, South America. There I witnessed what was called the "cueca sola."
The cuaca is the national dance of Chile. It is a joyful dance based on the mating dance of a rooster and hen. It is a romantic dance, a dance of love.
The "cueca sola" is a dance that a woman dances alone.
For almost a decade the military dictatorship in Chile arrested men and took them off to secret locations to be tortured and killed. Their bodies were either dumped in the ocean or buried in the deserts of northern Chile.
These women never saw their sons and husbands again. But they would gather in the central squares of the cities of Chile and dance the cueca alone with a picture of their son or husband pinned to their dress. And they will not stop until they know what happened to their loved ones and hopefully have their bodies returned to them.
I think of the cueca sola when I read about Mary Magdalene in the Gospel of John. She believes that the body of Jesus has been taken.
We know how she feels.
Sometimes a grave is the only place we have left to be near someone we love and have lost to death. But like the women of Chile, even this has been taken from Mary. So even when Peter and John have left, she remains and continues to seek her Lord. She will not stop until she finds him. Mary loves Jesus and it is this love that will not let her stop.
I think we sometimes miss the point of the resurrection. We have this tendency to focus on the miracle of someone raised from the dead. We focus on an act of God's power over death. And yes, this is important.
But Mary was not at the tomb looking for a miracle. She just wanted to find Jesus. What drove her was love, not interest in some supernatural event. She wanted to find her Lord. She was following her heart, and her heart took her to Jesus.
Her heart took her to an unexpected miracle. What a powerful story we read in the gospel of John.
Jesus just says her name, "Mary," and she knows his voice and recognizes him.
As Jesus had stated earlier in the gospel of John, "I am the good shepherd and my sheep know my voice."
This is the point of the resurrection story. Those who follow their hearts, those who seek Jesus, will find him.
He will call our name and we will know that we are his.
This is the unexpected miracle of Easter. We can still find Jesus.
Rev. George Wortham is the pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church in West Monroe.
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