The myrrh-bearing women approach the tomb with their gifts in-hand, only to find that Jesus has risen. They are told that Jesus is not here. So what did they do with the gifts they brought? What do you do with myrrh – a tree sap so costly that its cost was the same as gold in the first century?
This image of this icon reminds me of the three wise men, bringing gold frankincense and myrrh. Three approached the man-God at the beginning of His life with three gifts at his birth and three approached the man-God with three gifts at the end of his life. This gift-giving book-end set of events seems somehow connected.
Here we have two images of gifts being brought to God as Christ and in the middle we have God giving Himself to humanity as a gift in Jesus. This exchange is why I am so excited about rising money and people in the church. If God is giver, lover and creator (and those three ways of being seem most to represent God) and if we, you and I, are made in God’s image, then it stands to reason that we were designed to give, love and create.
We spent much of Lent making list of the things we would and would not do to mark Lent. I guess I am wondering: might we make a similar list of things in Easter? Might we choose a way we plan to create, give and Love in Easter? Tangible, real, measurable ways we can live out our Imago Dei – our image of God’s likeness? What can you and I do to express that I am a lover of humans, that I can and will create and that I can and will give?
As for creativity, I plan to make some pottery vessels for the Wilderness to use for bread and wine.
As for giving, I have made a pledge of 12% of my pre-tax salary to support the ministry of the cathedral.
As for loving, I plan to invite an atheist-friend to “Come and See” our church in the hopes that he might fall in love with it, like so many others have. I have placed his name on the “Come and See” commitment card we were recently mailed and he will be the person I visit to ask to come and see the cathedral.
What loving, giving and creating things might you decide to do this Easter and how might that live its life out as tangible, measurable accomplishments in these 40 days?