Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearers

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen.

Christ is risen!

“And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.”  And we, being gathered here in Church around the Altar—the tomb of Christ—take part in this mystery.  We are here alongside the Myrrh-Bearers seeking the Lord.  We know “where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them,” (Matt. 18:20) and we have come seeking the Lord.

And the Lord meets us.  Firstly as a messenger—from where we get the word angel.  This may have been a book we read, a person we met, an actual angel or a saint, something or someone who has pointed us to Christ.  This messenger has told us what the Angel said to the women, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.”  The tomb is empty, Death no longer has power, Christ is risen!

But there’s more than this.  We have heard of the news of the Resurrection.  The words of the Angel have passed down through twenty centuries; Christians have gathered on the Lord’s Day—simultaneously the first day of the week and the New Day, the Eighth Day—to commemorate this event ever since. 

We, like the Myrrh-Bearers, have been offered joy instead of sorrow, life in the place of death.  But the Angel, the Messenger, did not stop his message at this point, “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.”  He tells the women, “Go, do something about what you have seen, do not keep it to yourself but share it, bring the Gospel to more people.”

My dear brothers and sisters, we rejoice that the Gospel has reached us through previous generations of Christians—the message has been passed down like a baton in a relay race from generation to generation even to our day—but we should be careful that the baton is passed on and not dropped.  We have received, through the Myrrh-Bearers, through the Apostles, through the saints, Christ and it is scary to pass on the message, “And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”  It is not wrong to be afraid.  Yet the message was still passed on, we have received it.

Now it’s our turn.  What will we do with the joyous message we have received?

Christ is risen!

That we may offer all praise, honour and glory to our risen Lord together with his Father and the All-Holy Spirit, Amen.