Speak out (Luke 24:1-12)

Who are these women to say such things?
April 19, 2019

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A few months ago, I completed my pastoral ministry and moved out of my church office. After 25 years in the same congregation, that meant a lot of sorting and packing to do. A friend offered to help, and together we packed up 27 boxes.

I’ve now moved to a new church, with a new role as resident author and a new office. But my new space is much smaller, with room for just one book case, so I still have boxes of books at home—in the spare room and along one side of the dining room and piled up beside the piano.

I don’t expect to whittle down my library to just 30 books a la Marie Kondo. Some of them will go to the Christian bookstore that takes gently used books for cash, some to the used bookstore that gives credit on future purchases. Some I’ll give away to a good home. But so many books have changed me, challenged me, encouraged me, and educated me, that I’m not yet ready to let them go.

In fact I have so many great books—and there are so many other great books in the world—that sometimes I wonder why I bother to write. I could spend the rest of my life reading and never exhaust the wonderful words that have already been written. What are the few books that I’ve released among so many others? What is my small voice in the midst of all the clamoring voices past, present, and future?

Yet as I re-read Luke’s account of that first Easter, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women remind me that all of our voices are needed to share the good news. Surely they must know that their talk of the stone rolled away from the tomb, and of the two men in bright clothing saying Jesus has risen from the dead, will sound like nonsense to anyone who wasn’t there. And who are they to say such things? 

Yet the women faithfully report what they have seen and heard to the 11 and all the others. Their story is so incredible that even the apostles don’t believe them at first. But still the women speak up. They speak out the great good news that they have received.

So if you write or speak, if you have conversations in the church or with your neighbors, if you’re posting on Instagram or tweeting, whether you have a platform of thousands or an audience you can count on one hand—if you have good news to share, then speak up. Sure, there are many other voices in our world today, more famous or louder or clearer. And some people may think you’re talking nonsense. But what you say might be just the holy nonsense and great good news that someone else needs to hear.