Arise! Shine! The day is come and Light has won.

Shadows no longer rule the day, and darkness no longer rules even the night. Love is taking over, and hate cannot overcome it.

Come now to celebrate life. Come now to celebrate the Light. The whole world is filled with God’s glory.

God’s gift of Easter has come. Glory be to God!

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Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him.” Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in. Following him, Simon Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus’ head. It wasn’t with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place. Then the other disciple, the one who arrived at the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

John 20:1-8

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Where is Jesus?

When Mary visits the tomb she finds it empty. When the two other disciples go they find the same thing. Though we don’t really know the thoughts of the other two in this story, we are told that the disciple who got there first believed.

But what did he believe?

On Easter Sunday we celebrate the empty tomb, the defeat of death, the promise of life. But we are often left also to wonder, “Where is Jesus?” In a dangerous world with an uncertain future we may simply have no idea. We are given the opportunity again today to believe.

To believe what? The options are many, but the centuries-old Christian witness remains the same. We believe that Jesus is alive, that God through Christ is still at work in the world, and that, because death is defeated, we have hope.

Nick Foster

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O God of life, I celebrate today the victory you give over death, the hope that triumphs over despair. Thank you for loving all your children, so much that you offer and give to us new life – again and again! Amen.

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Where is Jesus? No longer in the tomb!

Now Jesus is behind you, below you, above you.

Beside you.

But mostly Jesus is ahead of you. Look up to catch a glimpse of him. He is calling you on, inviting you further on the journey of love, to a life that death cannot touch, to the place where Light chases shadows away.

Follow him.

Nick Foster

Nick Foster is executive director of Voluntary Action Center in Columbia, Missouri where he lives with his wife, Candace, and their daughter, Carlann. Nick's two sons, John Paul and Justin, live too far away in Alabama.

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