Daily Prayer 365

Day 360
Saturday, October 28, 2023


He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. —Matthew 28:6


For scholar and Jesuit priest Michel de Certeau, the heart of the Christian faith is the empty tomb and the angel’s words: “He is not here; he has gone to Galilee.” This moment, in which Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb and, finding it empty, is sent out into the world to search for the absent Jesus, inaugurates Christianity as “an impossible mourning,” a ceaseless wandering and searching for the one who is never here but always elsewhere. The tomb is empty, and Jesus’ call to follow him “comes from a voice which has been effaced, forever irrecuperable, vanished into the changes which echo it back, drowned in the throng of its respondents.” What Certeau means is as simple as it is provocative: Jesus did not set down a full and final account of who he is and what his life and death mean, penned in his own hand. Instead, he handed his story over to others. Withdrawing from history, he makes room for a breathtaking diversity of texts and communities that will tell of the changes and transformations that he awakened in them. And our access to Jesus is always mediated through these responses. We cannot hear, see, touch him directly; instead we hear stories of him told to us by others, see the transformations worked in people’s lives by their responding to his call, touch those whose lives have been touched in an endless chain of responses. —Mac Loftin, Christian Century, 2023


Let my not-knowing be peace, and let your spirit arise from our collective not-knowing so that as we speak into the impossibility of your story, we know that you are marking the way with kind traveling partners who know the kind of transformation that is to take place in your spirit. Be and abide with us in our searching for you. Amen. —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

October 28, 2023

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