Who Will Do It

Key Texts:  Mark 16:1-3

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

It was a simple, straightforward, reasonable question.

Nearly overcome by grief and fear, certain of little except the sense of duty and devotion that led them to want to lovingly anoint Jesus’ body after his death, the women wanted to know something.

“Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

Blocking their access to their loved ones body was a cruel obstacle.  Like all the other ways they had been barred from reaching out to their Lord, a huge round stone – courtesy of those who had orchestrated Jesus’ death – now was there.

Like so many man made obstacles though, this one was no match for God.

Upon arriving at the tomb – they found they needn’t have worried.  God had opened the way.

God had opened the way not just for them to enter the tomb and anoint the dead body of their Master.

God had opened the way for their Master to come forth, alive, risen, and triumphant.

There was simply no body for them to anoint.

And the world would never be the same.

On a much smaller scale, the same is true for us.

Burdened by fear or doubt, unsure of which path to take ahead, we too often want to know “Who will do it?”

“Who will show us the way?  Who will care for us, love us, guide us, comfort us, save us?  Who will meet the need?”

God will.

And our world will never be the same.

The gospel proclaims that God is all about opening tombs – both Jesus’ and all sorts of other tombs – real or imagined.

Who will do it?  It’s a simple, straightforward, reasonable question to ask.

God is the wonderful answer.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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