August Message

We made it to July. On Monday, July 22, 2013, the Christian Church will honor Mary Magdalene.  Mary was from the town of  ”Magdala”, which means, “tower” or “fortress.”  It is situated on the western shore of Lake Tiberius (Sea of Galilee).

Mary Magdalene enters the Gospels out of nowhere, with certain other women, who were delivered from demons and infirmities. These women in turn ministered to Jesus and His disciples out of their private means. (Luke 8:2-3)  It is recorded that Mary Magdalene was freed from seven demons. Mary always remembered how badly she suffered being demon possessed, and how awesome it was to be set free, and always remembered, that it was Jesus who set her free.

The event of being healed at the same time as the other women, created a strong bond between Mary and these faithful women. There also exits a strong bond and relationship between all Christians. This is why we are referred to as,” One body in Christ”, and the “Family of God.”

Not much is said about Mary Magdalene and the other women until the death and resurrection of Christ. This is the very Gospel which forgives sins, defeated Satan, and provides salvation.  So, we find Mary Magdalene standing at a distance seeing the suffering and agony of the death of Jesus (Luke 23:49).  Mary Magdalene had such devotion for Jesus as her Lord, that she remained at the cross until Jesus died, saw His body taken down off the cross, wrapped in a linen cloth, and then placed into the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. (Matthew 27:56)

Early on Easter Sunday morning Mary, with Salome, and Mary, the mother of James went to the tomb of Jesus to anoint His body. (Mark 16:1)  The tomb was found empty, and the women encountered the Angels. (Matthew 28:5)  Mary then ran back to Jerusalem and told Peter and John what she had seen and heard. (Luke 24:10)  She then ran back to the tomb with Peter and John. Peter and John looked into the tomb and found it empty. (The empty tomb gave witness that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead.)  Peter and John then went back to Jerusalem. Mary remained at the tomb. Then, Mary looked again into the tomb, and she saw two angels. They asked her why she was weeping?  Mary replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Turning back, Mary saw Jesus who appeared as a Gardener. Jesus then asked Mary, “Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you looking for?” The Jesus said, “Mary.”  Mary replied, “Rabboni” which means Teacher.

You and I are a lot like Mary Magdalene. We too have been set free from slavery to sin, Satan, and death. We too have witnessed the death and resurrection of Christ in our Baptism, when He called us by our name. So, how devoted and committed are we to Jesus?  How grateful are we?  Finally, do we like Mary Magdalene, know that when we too are confused, numb, and lost, Jesus will not forsake us, or abandon us, but always remains by our side, and provides for us what we need?

Have a great July
Pastor Brad Rick

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