Thursday, April 13, 2017

Easter Letters to Jesus...

Twenty years ago during Easter weekend 1997, John and I hosted a family reunion.  We decided to have a special Easter service which could be prepared ahead of time in order not to create too much stressful work on that Sunday morning during the reunion but would share meaningful, biblical content.
Imagine this fireplace empty without wood burning

While pondering what we could prepare, I imagined the stone, empty, open fireplace of the reunion site as an "empty tomb."  Next I imagined that many of Jesus' contemporaries probably would have gone to that tomb when they heard of his resurrection.  Who would some of those people have been and what would they have thought?  Wouldn't they have had many emotions - excitement, gratitude, fear, surprise...?  And wouldn't they have had hope that they would soon see Jesus again; be able to talk to him and know positively for themselves that he was alive?  Weren't they also probably thinking about things they would want to say to him - feelings to express, memories to share, mistakes for which to apologize...

But what about those of us who live 2000 years after Jesus resurrection?  Don't we also have much which we would love to communicate to Jesus as we remember his great sacrifice in order to become our Savior?

So my thoughts led me to write first person monologues from the point of view of a person who could have gone to the empty tomb that first Easter morning.  I wrote the monologues as "Letters to Jesus".  That way each performer that weekend could read their thoughts instead of being required to memorize the words they were sharing as the "sermon" for that Easter service.

Those members of our family who shared that day, dressed in period clothing for the sharing of their "Letter to Jesus" as one of his family or friends 2000 years ago.  After they finished sharing that letter, they removed some of their costume and became themselves.  As that person they continued to share a second "Letter to Jesus" as themselves - 2000 years later.

I wrote 7 monologues.  We used 5 of those that Sunday in 1997.  Links to the whole set will follow.  Should you be interested in using these monologues during your personal Easter celebration, you have my permission.  If you do, I would welcome a comment communicating your experience.

The tomb IS empty! It IS true! As soon as I heard the news of the resurrection, I just had to come here and see for myself. I was so afraid it was a trick; someone's imagination. You see, I'm Mary, Jesus' mother. If you're a mother you can probably imagine how I've been feeling since last Friday, what with the crucifixion and all but now - THIS. I could hardly believe it when I heard it. I just had to come and check for myself and see if the tomb really was empty...Link


The tomb IS empty! It IS true! I was here earlier this morning after the women brought us the news of the resurrection, but I wanted to come back - to spend some time alone to contemplate the wonder of this day. You see, I am John, the beloved friend of Jesus and brother of James... Link



The tomb is empty! It IS true! I was here earlier this morning after the women brought me the news of Jesus' resurrection but I wanted to come back for a few moments by myself. You see, I am Peter, a close friend of Jesus. I have mixed emotions as I stand here this morning. I am thrilled that He is alive! This is more wonderful news than anything I could ever imagine, but, I also have a heaviness in my heart...Link 


The tomb IS empty! It IS true! I just knew Jesus would rise from the dead. I knew he had that incredible power. You see, I am Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus. We were all such good friends of Jesus. He often stayed with us but the thing that endears me most to him is what he did for Lazarus after he had been dead for four days. He brought him back to life...Link 


The tomb IS empty! It IS true! The news was brought to our home earlier today and mom is so thrilled but the rest of us don't really know what to think. You see, I am James, the brother of Jesus. Our family has been together since Jesus' death on Friday. There have been so many things to talk about, so many feelings we have. This crucifixion has been really difficult for all of us but especially me because I was closest in age to Jesus. I have been trying to be the brave big brother but it hasn't been easy. You see, I have a lot of questions about who Jesus really is...Link


The tomb IS empty! It IS true! On my way to the temple this morning, I learned that something has happened which has created great excitement in Jerusalem today. It is being reported that there's been a resurrection from the dead - Jesus of Nazareth has risen from the dead! I decided I just had to come here for myself and make sure Jesus' grave really was empty. You see, I am Josephine, the woman who was ill for 12 years with hemorrhaging...Link


The tomb IS empty! It IS true! As I was hanging out my laundry this morning, Maria from across the street came to tell me the good news that Jesus had come back to life. A number of people had seen and talked to him. I was so excited when I heard it. I just knew something miraculous like that would happen to him. But I really wanted to see for myself - to make sure this was not just someone's hallucination. What Jesus did for me, was so remarkable that words hardly begin to express my gratitude. You see, I am Eva, the woman caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus...Link
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I believe in Jesus' death and resurrection.  
I believe in his offer of salvation to all who receive him. 
Easter 2017 is a wonderful time to begin a relationship 
with Jesus if you haven't done so already.

John 3:16New International Version (NIV)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9-10New International Version (NIV)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 

Contact me should you have questions or comments.  Have a wonderful Easter.

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