Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: What's Next?

3/28/2016

Dear Friends,

“He is Risen!” “He is Risen indeed!”
These words of hope were proclaimed in churches all around the world yesterday.

On this day early in the Easter season, here is a follow-up question to the glory of Easter day. “What’s next?”  

This is surely a question Mary Magdalene asks herself on the first Easter centuries ago. After all, she is devastated to arrive at the tomb in the early morning hours to find the stone rolled away. Isn’t the arrest, death penalty and crucifixion enough? Now somebody has stolen her crucified Savior’s body! What’s next?

John’s Gospel tells us that Mary is weeping outside of the tomb when she encounters Jesus. Maybe it is her tears that keep her from initially recognizing the Risen Jesus. Regardless, when he calls her name she is changed forever. The answer to the “what’s next” question for Mary is expressed in her witness to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.”
(John 20:18)     

My prayer for each of us is that on this day early in the Easter season we will “see” many glory-sightings of Jesus. He is with us:
   - in our darkest night and brightest sunrise
   - in our grief and joy
   - at the graveside and in the maternity ward
   - as we watch our elders age and children mature
   - in work, play and worship
   - in the face of human need and abundance
   - always, everywhere.

The answer to “what’s next” starts with seeing Jesus. Because when we recognize him, everything changes. Where have you seen Jesus today?

As always it is a privilege to serve as your bishop. 

Blessings,
Debra Wallace-Padgett
Resident Bishop
North Alabama Conference


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