Today was one of my “going rogue” moments.
I prepared an invocation for the service as always. But it didn’t feel right. This morning another prayer did.
Musician Sue K. Riley was at a church leadership retreat I attended a few years back. She described the CD she and Rev. Leddy Hammock had developed based on the lives of twelve women in the Bible who were either ancestors of Jesus or part of his earthly ministry.
I feel a close connection to Mary of Magdala, the Apostles’ Apostle. She received miraculous healing from God, and so I have I. Our scripture for this week told her Easter story.
Mark 16:1-8 (NIV)
1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 6And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. 7“But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” 8They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
So this Easter morning the opening prayer for our worship service changed, to draw from Leddy Hammock’s Prayer of Power (For Mary Magdalene). Listen to it, and the other prayers and songs from Twelve Women of the Chalice on YouTube. And consider supporting the artists with your purchase.
And the surprise – This week’s message focused on the experience of the women that first Easter in going to the grave to complete their ceremonial grief activities of anointing the body only to find…