St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Saturday in Easter Week
Mark 16:9-15, 20 Acts 4:13-21 April 23, 2022
A summary of that whole first day
Mark 16:9-15, 20
After Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, form whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with them, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” And they went out and proclaimed the good new everywhere, while the Lord worked with the and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.
Why don’t we believe each other? When we are all believers, and when we know each other, and love each other, and have come to trust each other; when we know that someone is normally trustworthy, we really ought to be able to trust their witness to the power and presence of the Lord. I do know that listening to another Christian who was sometimes older and always wiser than I am, has made all the difference to me in a whole lot of different situations. When I can’t see – others can.
The end of the other story Acts 4:13-21
When the rulers and the elders saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. They said, “What is to be done with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.”So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God you must judge; for we can’t keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” After threatening them again, they let them go. finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened.
There is no particular reason that those who have never seen the works of God should believe those who preach the resurrection of Jesus. In the New Testament, people came to faith because they saw what happened when the Jesus people were around. And, “The Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it. “I would suggest that this is still true
. Oh, the “signs” might be different, but unless there is some kind of evidence that the resurrection of Jesus has made some kind of difference, our words are mostly just empty to outsiders.