Posted in Inspiration

Let Us Exult!

Easter 2021

We are all familiar with the story of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, so instead of sharing a reading from scripture, I am sharing an excerpt from the most ancient hymn of the Church, The Exultet.  This hymn is traditionally proclaimed on the night of the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday) and is done immediately following the blessing and lighting of the Easter Candle.

Instead of boring you with my blah blah blah about death and resurrection and the eternal promise of new life, I invite you into your own sacred time of prayer. My suggestion for prayer (though please do whatever you are called to do) is as follows:

Set aside 30-45 minutes for this meditation/prayer activity. For this activity, you will need a candle, access to YouTube or another music source, your notebook or journal and a copy of the text of the Exultet. If you are ritual-oriented, you may feel called to set an altar in honor of the journey from death to new life.

Begin by lighting your candle.

Then listen prayerfully to the musical form of the Exultet. Here is one example from YouTube:

Then prayerfully read through the text of the Exultet, looking for a word or phrase that speaks to you.  Allow that word or phrase to become the focus of your meditation/prayer.  You may feel called to repeat that word or phrase over and over as a mantra, allowing it to draw you into a deep inner place of quiet.  After reaching that quiet, simply rest in silence, allowing any thoughts, reflections, images or emotions to surface in you.  Remain in this place for as long as you feel called.  When the meditation seems to have come to its natural conclusion, record your experience in your notebook or journal.

Please share your thoughts/reflections, etc. in the discussion section below.

 

The Exultet

This is the night,
when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children,
from slavery in Egypt
and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.

This is the night
that with a pillar of fire
banished the darkness of sin.

This is the night
that even now, throughout the world,
sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices
and from the gloom of sin,
leading them to grace
and joining them to his holy ones.

This is the night,
when Christ broke the prison-bars of death
and rose victorious from the underworld.

Our birth would have been no gain,
had we not been redeemed.

O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling,
to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!
O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!
O happy fault
that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!

This is the night
of which it is written:
The night shall be as bright as day,
dazzling is the night for me,
and full of gladness.

The sanctifying power of this night
dispels wickedness, washes faults away,
restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners,
drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.
On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,
accept this candle, a solemn offering,
the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,
an evening sacrifice of praise,
this gift from your most holy Church.

But now we know the praises of this pillar,
which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor,
a fire into many flames divided,
yet never dimmed by sharing of its light,
for it is fed by melting wax,
drawn out by mother bees
to build a torch so precious.

O truly blessed night,
when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human.

Therefore, O Lord,
we pray you that this candle,
hallowed to the honor of your name,
may persevere undimmed,
to overcome the darkness of this night.

Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.

May this flame be found still burning
by the Morning Star:
the one Morning Star who never sets,
Christ your Son,
who, coming back from death’s domain,
has shed his peaceful light on humanity,
and lives and reigns for ever and ever.

 

Posted in Inspiration, Order of Melchizedek

The Promise of New Life in the Darkness

After death is the promise of new life. This is the Easter message and the law that nature teaches us over and over and over again.  A seed it planted.  It germinates and grows.  It matures and bears fruit.  It dies, returning to the earth where it plants the seeds for the next life to begin.

Original drawing by Lauri Ann Lumby

So is the true of our human experience. Even our cells are continually involved in this eternal journey of birthing, growing, maturing, dying, and then being born again.

But this dying and rising is not limited to the growth of our cells. This is the eternal dance of our human experience – if we have the courage to surrender to the journey – especially when it all looks like death.  Like it felt for me on Monday.  Facing the end of our dreams, is one of those moments that feels like death.  For me, this death was palpable.  I felt like death.  I felt the weight of death.  I felt as if my body had become my own tomb made out of lead.

Then yesterday I woke up to the dawn of a new day. Rather, I woke up to the void – the place within the tomb where the life that once was lay in repose.  It was an apt position for the final session of a 5 year journey (for some, longer for others) I had been facilitating – learning as I go.  This was the final session of the Order of Melchizedek training that I have been piloting locally before making it wholly available online.  In this portion of the training we had been studying the Aleph Beis and its connection to the major arcana in the Tarot. Yesterday’s lesson (the final lesson) was on the Hebrew letter “Tav” and The World card in the tarot. You will have to take the class to understand how these two seemingly opposing systems are connected, but as a way to bring the course to a close, I facilitated a shamanic journey for those in attendance, while joining them in my own journey.

In my journey, I was led to every journey I had done before. I was brought to every location, every person, every being, every animal, etc. and in each scene, that which appeared to be outside of me was absorbed into me. All perceived division was absorbed into and became part of me. This absorption continued and continued and continued, until I saw that I had become a black hole. I was the black hole and I was in the black hole, drawing in and absorbing every single aspect of the life I have lived so far. It was all drawn inward toward the center of the black hole – a center that doesn’t really exist. The energies of my whole life were being drawn in and compressed – compressed to the point of nothingness and everything. The depths of the void filled with unlimited potential. All that has been was being compressed, transformed and was becoming “fuel” for the life of the black hole. What I then came to understand is that everything was being compressed – the old life was coming to an end, and was being used as fuel/compost for the new life/new world/new universe that will burst forth out of the other side of the black hole once maximum compression was reached.

Today I sit in the black hole. Nothing more to do. Nothing more to be. This world I have known is done. Complete. I am whole. I sit in the void as the new life is being born in secret. I will know it when it arrives. Until that time. I simply am – Lauri.

 

Posted in Beloved Partnership, Christ Consciousness, church, God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene

My Easter Gift to You!

Today we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus as the Christ and the witness of his resurrection by Mary Magdalene who was then ordained by Christ to share the good news with the other disciples. My Easter gift to you is an excerpt from Lesson Five of my online course, “Resurrecting the Magdalene.”  If you are interested in learning more about the full course and the course options, click on the corresponding icons to the right of this blog, or click on the links below:

Girl posing with red cloth. Concept, abstractionResurrecting-the-Magdalene-with-Magdalene-Activation-and-Ordination-by-Lauri-Ann-Lumby-Mystery-School-of-the-Goddess

 

 

 

 

The Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”  So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

John 20: 1-19

Mary-magdaleneApostletoApostles

Resurrecting The Magdalene e-course Lesson 5 excerpt:

…  The bottom line is that we have no way of knowing the literal truth of any of the gospels, only that they communicate stories that were handed down for many years before they were written down by specific people for a specific audience, based on what they remembered or, more likely, what they wanted their audience to believe about Jesus, his life, and his teachings. That is not to say, however, that the gospels do not contain deep and profound truths – especially when we extract the gospel stories from the doctrine that has been developed around then, bringing them into our own prayer, and allowing God to reveal the truths contained within the stories that are personally relevant to us in our own journeys.

Beyond our own personal reflections on the gospels, there are a few things we may be able to surmise from the texts, especially for our current purpose of understanding what might really have taken place during the events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection.

  • In each and every gospel account, Mary Magdalene is named as one who is witness to the resurrection. The same cannot be said of any other “named” witness.
  • Scripture scholars further highlight this point in noting that Mary is named. Scholarly consensus holds that for a woman to have been named, she must have had a central and critical role in the story of Jesus (remember, women had no personal value within the culture of first-century Palestine). Mary is named in every gospel account of the resurrection, including that portrayed in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene (one of those that didn’t make the cut).
  • Beyond being named in scripture as witness to the resurrection, Tradition has always honored Mary Magdalene as first witness to the resurrection, so much so that in the very early Church, Mary was identified as “Apostle to the Apostles,” for this is what she was.

“But what about Peter?” we might ask. He is named in both the gospel of Luke and the gospel of John.  There is an easy explanation for Peter being named in Luke’s gospel.  Scripture scholars tell us it is unlikely that the author of Luke was a direct follower of Jesus.  Instead, Luke was most likely a follower of St. Paul, who actually never met Jesus personally.  Paul (as Saul of Tarsus) was initially a persecutor of the followers of Jesus, himself ordering the stoning of St. Stephen, the first martyr.  Paul later had some sort of mystical experience through which he encountered the risen Christ and then became a champion for the Jesus cause.  Paul likely gained his knowledge of the Jesus story from Peter and the other male disciples who presided over the first Christian community in Jerusalem, long after Mary Magdalene left the scene (more on that in the next lesson).  By this time, it is likely that the Petrine (Peter) agenda had already been cemented within the Jerusalem community.  Because Mary was such an integral part of the story, she could not be omitted altogether, but her role was easily downplayed by having Peter, himself, witness to the empty tomb.

Then there is the gospel of John. John’s gospel is markedly different from any of the other gospels and seems to be of a genre unto itself – a gospel that is a theological reflection on the first 100 years of the Jesus movement and on some of the traditions, rituals, and practices that had already become part of the emerging Christian tradition.  While one of the later gospels written, John’s gospel also possesses parts of the Mary Magdalene tradition that are not present (or are downplayed) in the other gospels including the Wedding at Cana, the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well and the Anointing at Bethany.  In regards to the story of the resurrection, John’s gospel presents a study in contrasts.  First, Mary goes to the tomb.  She then runs to tell Peter, who comes to the tomb to see that it is empty.  After Peter (and the unnamed disciple) depart Mary sticks around and has a direct and personal encounter with Jesus, who then tells her to go tell the other disciples.

The conflicting information in this gospel has confounded me for years, until I brought this reading deeply into prayer and meditation and the answer became glaringly obvious. The gospel of John contains two separate stories of the resurrection account – one in which Mary is the witness, another where Peter is given privilege.  It is my personal belief that the passage regarding Peter was inserted into the Mary story to suit the later Christian Church (second – third century) who sought to put forth a decidedly patriarchal and hierarchical agenda.  Within this agenda, there can be no room for a woman who was obviously commissioned to a leadership role by none other than Jesus, himself.  But, don’t take my word for it.  Go back and re-read the resurrection account from John – first including the italicized text, then without that portion of the text, and then decide for yourself.

If you are interested in learning more about the Resurrecting the Magdalene e-course, or the abbreviated version “Magdalene Activation” click on the icons above in the right-hand column of this blog. You might also enjoy my novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene available HERE.  Happy Easter!

 

Posted in Christ Consciousness, Jesus, Mary Magdalene

Raising Jesus from the Dead

Two thousand years ago Jesus died and rose from the dead.  Just as quickly as he rose, we killed him again.  We killed Jesus when we:

Changed his message –

  • From love to fear.
  • From Oneness to separation.
  • From an unconditionally loving God to one who condemns.
  • From peace and harmony to conflict and war (in his name!)
  • From a community that treats all human beings as equal, governed by collaboration and cooperation to one rooted in white, male privilege; governed by fear, power and control.
  • From welcoming all to the table to only those who believe as we want them to believe and who are “in good standing.”
  • From a movement within Judaism to a new and separate religion.

2000 years ago, Jesus died and rose from the dead.  And 2000 years ago, we killed him.  This Easter of 2015, let us cooperate in allowing Jesus to raise from the dead and to stay there!

I must humbly acknowledge that this seems to be exactly what is happening for those who are reading my most recent book, a novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  The feedback I’m getting from readers is just that – Jesus being raised from the dead.  Every single person who has offered feedback has expressed conflict with the institutional images of Jesus given to them and through my book, have found healing and transformation of these images, opening them to Jesus’ deeper message of unconditional love.  Right before their eyes, Jesus is being transformed from a far-off creature standing in judgment to a dear and intimate friend teaching them how to love.

In celebration of Easter and as an invitation to all of us to let Jesus be raised from the dead, I offer you this excerpt from Song of the Beloved. 

laurilores.jpg

On the morning after the Sabbath, I awoke before dawn in the same way that I had every day after Jesus healed me and raised me from the death in which I had existed.  Upon waking, I expected to feel nothing but the numbness of the days past.  I expected to desire nothing but to roll over and return to the world of sleep.  Instead, I felt the urge to resume my ordinary routine of morning meditation in the garden.  I arose and proceeded into the garden to the bench I had shared with Jesus every morning for the past three years.  I approached the bench and lovingly ran my hand over its marble seat recalling what Jesus and I had shared in this sacred space.  The grief of this loss suddenly overtook me and I collapsed on the ground as my tears splattered over our bench. 

 

As I knelt beside the bench weeping with head in hands, I felt a faint shift in the air around me.  I lifted my head slightly to see if perhaps Lazarus had come out to join me. As I looked up, my heart leaped into my throat and ceased beating.  My beloved Jesus stood there before me.  I rubbed my eyes to make sure it was not some trick of the rising sun, but there he was as real as he had been all those past times in prayer and even more so, he stood before me in flesh and blood. 

 

I stood and reached out to embrace him, to feel his skin on my cheek, and he opened his arms to return my embrace.  We had held each other for but a moment, when Jesus gently pulled away.  He took my face in his hands, lightly kissed me on the lips and said, “Mary, I am with you always, even until the end of time and it is time for you to come into your own power, to embrace your own Christhood.  In this, I must ascend. And, you must not cling to me so that you too may rise.  You must go to my brothers in Jerusalem to let them know I have risen and you must explain to them its meaning.”  With that he kissed me again on the mouth. “Mary, be empowered in the flame of the Shekinah, God’s Holy Spirit.”  He departed from my sight as quickly and as silently as he had arrived.

 

I stood there in silent wonder.  Even death had no power over my beloved.  As sure as he had been here just one week ago, he stood before me again.  I felt his touch, the brush of his lips on mine, the comfort of his embrace.  Just as suddenly, he was gone.  I inhaled deeply in the hopes of comprehending this experience and the cock crowed.  I remembered Simon’s denial of Jesus and was provoked by Jesus’ words, “Go to my brothers in Jerusalem.”  I ran into the house to be greeted by Martha, Salome and Lazarus’ sleepy faces.  “I have seen the Lord.  He is risen just as he said he would.”  I ran to each of them in turn, took their hands in mine, and looked into their eyes, “It is true.  He has conquered death. He came to me in the garden.  He is risen!”  As I relayed the message to their open minds and hearts, they were able to see the truth as I had witnessed it.  As a group we embraced in celebration.  “We must go to Jerusalem!  Jesus instructed me to tell his brothers there that he has been raised from the dead.”  We immediately departed for Jerusalem where we knew the Galilean disciples stayed in hiding.

Song of the Beloved – The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.  copyright 2015, Lauri Ann Lumby.  Buy it HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Empowerment, End of the World Prophecies, world changes

Choosing the Life We Want

If these past two weeks in the void (since the Equinox) have been a doozie for you….you are not alone! I know for myself (and many of my colleagues, co-hearts and peers – especially those in the Ascension, 3D, 5D communities) it has been a time of NOTHING. (see more about the VOID in Monday’s post HERE) For me this has manifested as complete lack of motivation or interest in ANYTHING.  Even the things that usually nourish and inspire me (reading, writing, music, movies, nature) have fallen flat.  Speaking of flat – has anyone else been FLATTENED by this time?  EXHAUSTED….needing to sleep….not feeling rested after sleep…even symptoms akin to depression?  Many are also complaining of increased anxiety at this time as we wait for we know not what  (See Aimee Hohn’s post about the anxiety of potentiality!)!

Inadvertently, while wallowing under the heavy weight of the VOID, I may have found the key to finding our way out.  The key – it seems – is CHOOSING WHAT WE WANT.  Last night, ticked off at all the “restrictions” I had placed on myself and the universe seems to have placed on me, I chose something that I wanted instead of what the voices in my head said I “should” choose.  For the first time since entering the void, I had a good night sleep.  I feel rested.  My brain is not filled with sludge.  I feel like myself.  I even have a bit of creative energy back.  (I’m writing this blog, aren’t I?)  Buoyed by this revelation, I sat down and wrote a list of what I want for myself as we move through the void into the new life that is waiting for us – right around the corner (no coincidence that this void to birthing time coincides with EASTER)!  Here is my list…..now go and write yours!

keys

 

I want LOVE – BIG LOVE

Soulmate, Twin Flame, True One, Beloved LOVE

Love that sweeps me off my feet, love that is REAL, healthy, interdependent,

Partnership LOVE – mutually honoring, supportive, sacred LOVE.

I want JOY.  Joy and enjoyment.

A life that feels like play because it’s fun and my work is fun.

Work that is joyful, fulfilling and fun so much so that it feels like I’m getting paid to do nothing.

People coming to me in search of my gifts because I’m dang good at what I do and people know it.

I want money – BIG money

Not just for my own enjoyment, but so that I may help others.

Creating a beautiful, fun, and sacred home for myself and my family.

A home that is mine (ours).

To support my children’s education and the education of others.

A cabin in the woods.

Money and time to enjoy and support the arts – theatre, symphony, the ballet, museums – and someone to share it with.

Good health – of course!

I want time for solitude and quiet –

To be with my God

To be with myself

To be with nature

To write

To be with my Beloved

To be with those I love

There’s my list (for now)…….now go write yours! 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Christ Consciousness, Freedom, God, Inspiration, Jesus, Oneness with God

Embracing the Promise of New Life – New Eyes on Easter

Below is an excerpt from this week’s Agape’ Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  To learn more and subscribe, please click HERE. 

resurrection-1

Happy Easter! Welcome new life! Welcome Joy! Welcome Peace! Welcome Love! Welcome Freedom!

In dying and rising from the dead, Jesus reconciles us to God. In his human journey, Jesus came to realize the TRUTH that sets us free – the truth of our Oneness with God in love. Jesus died defending this truth and was resurrected to prove that death has no hold over us – that death is in fact, an illusion. In death, we do not simply pass away. Instead, we are simply restored to the fullness of our Oneness with God. There is no hell. No purgatory. No place of eternal punishment – only Oneness with God.

Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead just so that the gates of heaven would be open for us, however. Jesus rose so that we would realize his words were true – that the Kingdom of God is right here in our very midst. We do not have to wait until we die to experience God’s Kingdom. Freedom, Jesus promised, is available to us right here in the midst of the human condition. “As above, so below.” Heaven on earth.

The way to the experience that Jesus fully realized in his human form is to do what Jesus did. Take his teachings seriously. Follow his example.

Pray without ceasing.

Repent (return again and again to God)

Believe in the Good News

The Kingdom of God is at hand.

Feed the hungry.

Clothe the naked.

Heal the sick.

Set captives free.

Love God above all else.

And your neighbor as yourself.

EVERYONE is your neighbor!

Pray for your enemies.

Turn the other cheek.

Judge not (lest ye be judged)

Forgive 70 times 70 times.

Love one another as Jesus loved us.

As we do what Jesus did, we experience new life for ourselves.

Posted in creativity, Death, End of the World Prophecies, Surrender, world changes

Surrendering to the Void

Today’s blog offers a glimpse and some support as we face this current period of Universal change.  Big changes are coming….but for now…..we must surrender to the VOID!

Wormhole

Entering the Void

In case you haven’t yet noticed, we are in the void.  A time many of my peers are referring to as the “wormhole.”  I like to think of it as the birth canal.  We have planted our seeds.  We have sown our dreams.  We have networked, promoted, advertised, shared all we are and all we hope to be.  We have dreamed the dreams of a world we want to live in and the people we want to be in that world.  Since the beginning of 2015, and most especially the early days of March, we have been busy, freneticly overcome with creative and creating energy.  Then suddenly, everything came to a halt.  Now, there is nothing we can do but WAIT!  Like a seed waiting in the dark soil for the perfect amount of water, sunlight and warmth (and the turning of the year) to coax us out of our shell, we wait.

Nothing and Everything Happens in the Void

The void is a strange time of nothing.  Waiting.  Being.  Resting.  Recuperating.  Recovering.  Restoring.  But while the void often feels like nothing, there is in fact, much going on.  Resting.  Recuperating.  Recovering.  Restoring.  Like the purgatory of Christian-olde (in case you missed the bulletin, the Vatican recently erased purgatory from the books), the void is a time where our past is revisited and every lasting bit of remaining debris is removed.  Anything that is not supportive of the new life that is waiting to be born after the end of the void, is being wiped away.  And yes indeed, we are feeling it!  GRIEF.  ANGER.  RESENTMENT.  Old wounds, old betrayals, past losses and disappointments, are all coming around for one final look.  The void is also a time of healing.

Surrender to the Void

Our task, as we wait here in the void is to SURRENDER.  Don’t try to start any new projects or make any major decisions.  The universe will not support them anyway and if you try, you will only be smashing your head against the brick wall of a world not yet ready for your gifts.  In this state of immobility, be attentive to the anxiety, impatience, and restlessness that will arise because you have nothing “to do.”  If you are bored, read a book, watch a playful movie, return to the mundane – clean the house, do the mending, sweep your basement, rake the yard.  In doing these things, you are clearing the way for the new life that will begin to blossom somewhere around Easter. And if healing opportunities show up, be present to them.  When old pain shows up, be with it and let it move through.  As we show up to our pain, show up to the feelings around that pain – fear, sorrow, rage, etc., – we are allowing that pain to be healed.  Ultimately, our job while hanging out in the void is to take care of ourselves – to love ourselves – to tend to the most vulnerable and fragile parts of our Soul and in doing so, we are creating a solid foundation upon which the new life is coming can take root, mature and bear much fruit.

Hang on…..the new life you have been promised and that you have been waiting for is almost here!

Love,

Lauri

 

Posted in Jesus, Mary Magdalene

Christ is Risen – the resurrection through the eyes of Mary Magdalene

Happy Easter!  In celebration of this auspicious day, I gift you with an excerpt from my yet to be released novel, Song of the Beloved – Jesus through the eyes of Mary Magdalene.  Enjoy another perspective on Jesus’ resurrection from the woman who knew him the best.  And, don’t forget the virtual service, available HERE.  Happy Easter!

marytomb

In Mary’s words:

While Jesus had done his best to prepare me for what lay ahead, seeing his broken, beaten body hanging on the cross cleaved my heart in two. The man I loved beyond all else lay dead. He was gone. As the stone fell before the entrance to the tomb, a strange sense of finality filled my being. It is finished. Never again would I see my beloved. Never would I hear his strong, loving voice. Never again would I behold the curl of his hair, nor the twinkle in his chameleon eyes that seemed to carry within them the entire world. Never again would I feel the tremor of my heart when his skin brushed against mine or the peaceful calm of his serene presence as he sat beside me in prayer. The terror and inexplicable grief that had pierced my heart was replaced by a cold nothingness. I felt neither joy, nor sorrow, anger nor contentment. I felt nothing but the cold, stark barrenness of the tomb where my beloved’s dead body now lay.

After the final refrain of the Kaddish, we returned the two miles to Bethany, to the house of my brother Lazarus, in silence. Too aggrieved to partake of the Sabbath meal, we retreated to our separate quarters in silence.

On the morning after the Sabbath, I awoke before dawn in the same way that I had every day after Jesus healed me and raised me from the death in which I had existed. Upon waking, I expected to feel nothing but the numbness of the days past. I expected to desire nothing but to roll over and return to the world of sleep. Instead, I felt the urge to resume my ordinary routine of morning meditation in the garden. I arose and proceeded into the garden to the bench I had shared with Jesus every morning for the past three years. I approached the bench and lovingly ran my hand over its marble seat recalling what Jesus and I had shared in this sacred space. The grief of this loss suddenly overtook me and I collapsed on the ground as my tears splattered over our bench.

As I knelt beside the bench weeping with head in hands, I felt a faint shift in the air around me. I lifted my head slightly to see if perhaps Lazarus had come out to join me. As I looked up, my heart leaped into my throat and ceased beating. My beloved Jesus stood there before me. I rubbed my eyes to make sure it was not some trick of the rising sun, but there he was as real as he had been all those past times in prayer and even more so, he stood before me in flesh and blood.

I stood and reached out to embrace him, to feel his skin on my cheek, and he opened his arms to return my embrace. We had held each other for but a moment, when Jesus gently pulled away. He took my face in his hands, lightly kissed me on the lips and said, “Mary, I am with you always, even until the end of time and it is time for you to come into your own power, to embrace your own Christhood. In this, I must ascend. And, you must not cling to me so that you too may rise. You must go to my brothers in Jerusalem to let them know I have risen and you must explain to them its meaning.” With that he kissed me again on the mouth. “Mary, be empowered in the flame of the Shekinah, God’s Holy Spirit.” He departed from my sight as quickly and as silently as he had arrived.

I stood there in silent wonder. Even death had no power over my beloved. As sure as he had been here just one week ago, he stood before me again. I felt his touch, the brush of his lips on mine, the comfort of his embrace. Just as suddenly, he was gone. I inhaled deeply in the hopes of comprehending this experience and the cock crowed. I remembered Simon’s denial of Jesus and was provoked by Jesus’ words, “Go to my brothers in Jerusalem.” I ran into the house to be greeted by Martha, Salome and Lazarus’ sleepy faces. “I have seen the Lord. He is risen just as he said he would.” I ran to each of them in turn, took their hands in mine, and looked into their eyes, “It is true. He has conquered death. He came to me in the garden. He is risen!” As I relayed the message to their open minds and hearts, they were able to see the truth as I had witnessed it. As a group we embraced in celebration. “We must go to Jerusalem! Jesus instructed me to tell his brothers there that he has been raised from the dead.” We immediately departed for Jerusalem where we knew the Galilean disciples stayed in hiding.