“But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16:7
Now what? I tend to ask this question every year after Easter is over, and I know many others do too. I am currently writing this on what’s commonly referred to as Easter Monday. Yesterday was Easter, and our worship experience came at the end of an incredible season in the life of our church. During Lent, we spent time together reflecting on Jesus’ time in the wilderness. We affirmed the transformative power and sufficiency of the Word of God. We were reminded that our identity is established upon a divine proclamation. We were assured that we are never alone in the wilderness. We prayed together. We laughed together. We cried together. We stood together and committed to caring for the little ones in our midst. Then, on Maundy Thursday, we followed Jesus’ example and commands, breaking bread with one another, and washing each other’s feet. And on Good Friday, we heard and witnessed the retelling of the sacred story of the world’s greatest sacrifice.
Then, Easter! Our Easter celebration together as a family of faith was an extraordinary experience! With strong voices, together we proclaimed our God’s victory over the grave and the power of death. With embraces, we celebrated those who chose baptism. With hands lifted high, we worshiped our resurrected King. With tears, we joined our hearts with so many in our church who stood and courageously held up their stories of victory, their testimonies to what our victorious God can do. This is what Easter Sunday is all about.
So, now what? Where do we go from here? On the morning of the first Easter, the disciples were instructed to wait for Jesus in Galilee. I find this fascinating. Jesus was crucified and buried near Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the city of God, the geographical centerpiece of Judaism. Why didn’t Jesus choose to meet his disciples there? Jerusalem would come later, but the resurrected Jesus wanted to meet his disciples first in Galilee. What was so special about Galilee?
Galilee was home. It was home for Jesus, and many of his disciples. Many of them first encountered Jesus there, and in Galilee they discovered who Jesus was. They witnessed Jesus walk on the Sea of Galilee. They watched him calm the same waters he walked upon. They worked together on that sea to pull in their greatest catch of fish, and they left those same nets to follow him. In Galilee they drank miracle wine at a wedding party and distributed miracle bread to thousands. In Galilee they saw the possessed set free and the sick made well. Galilee was home. Galilee was a place of calling. Galilee was a place for miracles. Galilee was a place of divine revelation. What better place, then, for Jesus to return to?
So, now what? We go home. We go back to work; we tend to our nets, cast them, and see what we catch. And we begin again to wait in wonder to see what our resurrected king will do next. Because, as we witnessed in the testimonies of our brothers and sisters on Sunday, the victories of our resurrected king begin at home, and his call comes when we least expect it. When he beckons us, we will follow him again into the wilderness, and into Jerusalem, just as the disciples did. But for now, we go home, and rest in the knowledge that we will find him waiting for us there.