When we offer our fear and amazement to God, God offers us the courage to give birth to something new in our lives.

Scripture Theme: Mark 16: 1-8

In Mark’s story of the resurrection, the three women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome) run off from the tomb, full of terror and amazement. The Greek word for terror is tremos, from which we get the English word ‘tremble.’ It describes a kind of knee-knocking fear. The Greek word for amazement is ekstasis, from which the English word ‘ecstasy’ derives. It means ‘a displacement of the mind,’ or in common parlance, to be ‘out of your mind.’

These women have knee-knocking, out-of-their-mind fear and amazement as they flee from the tomb. They had come to anoint a body for burial and found an empty tomb. So they run into a future they can’t see and new life they don’t understand.

After the trembling subsided, and the astonishment stopped tying up their tongues, they spoke with conviction and faith. Mary Magadelene and Mary the mother of James and Salome did preach to Jesus’ disciples the good news–or we wouldn’t have the gospel of Mark. The sixteenth century reformer Martin Luther writes on these Marys that “these women show us a beautiful example of a spiritual heart that undertakes an impossible task, without which the whole world would despair.  Yet a heart like this stands firm and accomplishes it, not thinking the task impossible.”[1]

These Marys and Salome beckon to us. “God is trying to work something new in your life,” they say. “This new thing makes your knees knock and stirs your mind. You are scared and amazed just thinking about it. This is what it is like when resurrection happens—we are terrified and amazed at the same time.”

Take hold of their encouragement. What is God calling to your spiritual heart to do?  What impossible task are you to undertake without which the world would despair?  Stand firm in your heart. This task is not impossible. Practice resurrection.

Yoga:

Our strength to do something new starts in our core. When we generate movement in the core, it activates our creative potential. This energy out of our abdomen is not based in fear, but offers serenity, quiet, and calm to do generative work.

Yoga pose: Uttanasana- Inhale, lifting the head, exhale to breathe deeply into belly. Do this rhythm several times, with the breath and folding in giving the belly a massage. After several breaths, place the hands to the front of shins, inhale, exhale (3x), again giving a belly massage with breath.

Parsvottanasana – With the right foot forward and left foot back, fold forward from the hips.  Fingertips come on either side of the shin. Stretch your heart forward on the inhale, exhale, fold.  Inhale/exhale (5 x), massaging the belly with the breath on the exhale.  Switch feet.

Baddha konasana- With the soles of the feet touching, holding onto the ankles, rise tall through the crown of the head, exhale and fold forward.  From the hips send energy out to knees. Inhale, lifting the head, exhale, connect to your core. Send energy from the core, the hips out through the knees and into the world. Then rest into the serenity of the pose, letting go of fear, and opening up to the new.

[1] Martin Luther, “A Sermon on Christ’s Resurrection”  Church Postil  www.lectionarycentral.com/easter/LutherGospel.html   accessed on April 2, 2012

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