The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
We have wound our way through the travails of another year to the resurrection joy of Easter morning. Who could have fathomed just what the journey between last Easter and this would hold?
Yet, here we are again. Another proclamation of resurrection hope in the midst of layers of pandemic life.
As we see signs that the end might be in sight, it is tempting to spend too much time looking back. I do not mean reflecting on the past year (it would serve us well to do so). I mean looking back further still, all the way back to the way things were before pandemic life began. It is tempting to look back and search for ways to reconstruct the lives we once lived. We long, perhaps, to be a people restored.
There is a difference, though, between restoration and resurrection.
As followers of Jesus, we, dear friends, are a people not of restoration but resurrection. We are a people, not of rebuilding a life that once was but invited into the abundance of the new life Christ has claimed.
We seek not restoration but resurrection.
There are, indeed, pieces of our past, recent and ancient, that continue to do God’s good work in the world. But what if, instead of allowing our present and future to be shaped by the realities of life that once was, we allow the expanse of holy imagination to push wide the bounds of life as we knew it and invite us into what will yet be?
I am reminded of the women’s encounter with Jesus just after the resurrection. They fall down before him and cling to his feet as Jesus tells them to get up and go.
I’m fairly confident I would cling to Jesus’s feet, too. I would want to hold on to the one I had thought I had lost and never let go. But for the resurrection story to be told, the women must let go of reclaiming what they had known and run to tell the others of an impossible truth: Jesus is alive, and a whole new way of life has just begun.
Dear church, Jesus is alive and, in his living, a whole new way of life has just begun!
When Jesus broke free from the tomb, he was not simply restored to what he had been; he was resurrected! His new life was not just a reconstruction of the old. It was new.
What if the Spirit’s invitation in this season is not to restore us to what once was but to invite us into a new way of life? A way we might call resurrection living.
In this new life, it seems wise to take our cue from the women who were the first to encounter Jesus’s resurrection. To get up and go and tell everyone we can about what Christ has done.
This has been a long year. We are weary. Our neighbors are weary. For so many reasons, we are tired.
Into this weary exhaustion and season of prolonged grief comes the resurrection of Jesus. As followers of Jesus, we are first-hand witnesses, people who have seen and are invited to get up, go, and tell the good news. This good news is the story of a God who came into a weary world, among a broken and weary people, and offered us new life. “I have come that they may have life,” Jesus said, “and have it to the full.”
It is new life offered to us, but not only us. It is resurrection life offered to God’s whole beloved world.
What miraculous joy Easter morning holds, that we would not only join in witnessing the resurrection but also in the invitation to share this good news far and wide; that we would be welcomed into resurrection living.
It is tempting to hold onto what once was, to cling to what we once knew. But the resurrected Christ longs not to simply restore us but show us the way of abundant life. “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” 
In the midst of our exhaustion, our weariness, our grief, what joy this Easter morning brings! We, the followers of Jesus, just like the women all those years ago, have been invited to witness the abundance of resurrection living, and in that living to get up, to go, and to tell the world Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!
With Easter joy,
Bishop Regina Hassanally
Southeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
 Many thanks to Bishop Leila Ortiz, who sparked this notion within me.
 John 10:10 NIV
 Revelation 21:5 NRSV