Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, April 18, 2022

He is Risen! - Rector's Rambling for April 17, 2022

        The shock of Jesus’ death, and the mourning of His followers did not prepare them for the surprise of an empty tomb.  We know they were not prepared because the Gospel accounts tell us that they went to the tomb to mourn, as well as properly prepare the body, because he was hastily buried on Friday before the High Sabbath Day for Passover.

The Sabbath prohibition against work being over, the women go to the tomb with spices to anoint the body (notice the woman depicted above our altar with a jar in her hand).  And we even hear their concern that they would need help rolling away the stone from the front of the tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea, who had offered it for Jesus’ burial, so they could accomplish this task.

Jesus had spoken plainly and openly about His impending death, and that in three days he would rise again.  St. Thomas mentions that the disciples will go to Jerusalem to die with Him, and St. Peter tries to forbid Jesus from going to fulfill God’s will (and was suitably rebuked by Jesus for it).  Yet once arrested, all but St. John flee from Jesus, and we hear that they were cowering together for fear that the authorities would come for them next.

How often do we not want to hear the hard things that Jesus has to say?  They couldn’t hear or accept his warning that all this was to come, and that it was a part of a bigger plan.  How often do we go on with the easier things of Jesus’ teaching with blinders on against what we don’t want to hear?

The Good News is that just as they were all surprised by the Resurrection of Jesus, we too can be surprised, caught unprepared, by the miracle that is Jesus Christ and His plans for us.  Like the disciples, it is our response after that surprise that makes all the difference.  Let us rejoice, as they did, and follow Him as Lord and Saviour.