For your reading pleasure on this joyous Easter Sunday, here is an account of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Gospel of Mark:
When the sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another,
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter,
‘He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him, as he told you.’”
— Mark 16:1-7
The First Family is celebrating Easter this morning at the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. According to the pool report, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their children Sasha and Malia arrived around 10:25 AM Eastern Time, and were given an enthusiastic welcome.
After hymns and and offering, the preacher, Howard-John Wesley, started his twenty-minute sermon saying he was going to “talk, reach and preach a little bit.” Every statement he made deserves an exclamation point.
He said you’ve got to make a decision, and referenced the civil rights movement choosing between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.; in the 70s, he said, choices were Cowboys or Steelers.
For some, choices are Prince or Michael Jackson; Biggie or Tupac; New Edition with Bobbie Brown or without.
“Even today in our political landscape, a line in the sand is drawn forcing you to make a decision on where you stand,” he said.
“Where do you stand with rights or same sex couples…where do you stand on gun reform, where do you stand with police body cameras? Where do you stand on affordable health care? Life has a way of making you make a decision.”
“Where you stand on the resurrection of Jesus Christ: You either believe it or you reject it,” he added.
“Christ is risen from the dead!” he said at one point. “If there’s anything that will put an amen in your voice; if there’s anything that will put some clapping in your hands…it’s that Christ has risen from the dead!”
“Whenever I see an empty tomb, I am reminded: God. Is. Able. What is he able to do? Fill in the blank! Whatever you need him to do!”
The pastor also made a reference to police shootings: “Even when we’ve lost Trayvon and Michael and Eric and Tamir, we have a God who on the other side working out justice.”
If you are observing the Easter holiday today, please accept best wishes from all of us at the Northwest Progressive Institute. May your celebration of Christ’s Resurrection be peaceful and memorable.