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1. Gospel John 20: 1-18
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 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.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. Favorite Easter story for obvious reasons. What if all we did was just read this one verse? How would that change us?
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.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
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.’”
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.
Gospel Mark 16:1-8
(The Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used here without permission.) Painting below by Fra Angelico, Italian Renaissance Painter, est. 1500
This is my favorite Easter story because its meaning changes for me from year to year. This April John’s 20:1-18 verse teaches me about grief. We tend to suffer when we hold on. It helps (me at least) to rather believe in ascendancy.
2. Forbes’ Faberge
This coffee table book contains fabulous photography of the Forbes’ collection of Faberge eggs. It is wonderful primer in the history of these objects and provides a thorough bibliography for further study. Favorite Easter stories about Faberge eggs never get old. Admiring their elegance, symbolism and outrageous opulence, as gifts for the Tsar’s wife, makes me feel like nothing is too good for celebrating Easter.
3. Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit
Originally published in 1901 by Frederick Warne & Co. Favorite Easter story about a rascally bunny whose tender drawings evoke the innocence of children. How long did you think there was an Easter bunny?
4. Walk with Jesus: Stations of the Cross by Dutch theologian, Henry Nouwen
Orbis Books, 1990 MaryKnoll, New York. When I am bored in Church (which is often), I love to study the seven stations on the walls. (This also gives me an excuse to move around in different pews.) Favorite Easter story because one can always learn something more about Holy Week.
5. The Bunny School by Fritz Koch Gotha
One has to include the stories you remember reading as a child.
Albert Sixtus’ illustrations stole my heart and The Bunny School continues to be a classic German children’s Easter story.
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