Saturday, April 8, 2023

He Still Moves Stones

eater art

As the Easter Holliday nears, over 2 billion Christians here in the Adirondacks and around the world will be celebrating the resurrection and the rising again of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion.  The resurrection of Christ, which is the holiest of celebrations, occurred over 2000 years ago when humanity’s fate stood in the balance.  It began early one Sunday Morning as two women leave their homes and walk out onto a shadowed path on their way to perform a somber task.  This morning promises only sorrow, Mary and Mary unaware that this will be the first Easter.

They are not hoping for an empty tomb, they are discussing how they will feel when they see Jesus.  They have no idea that his grave has been vacated.  There was a time when they dared to dream such dreams, but not now.  It’s too late for the incredible, the feet that walked on water have been pierced.  The hands that healed lepers had been stilled.  Noble aspirations had been spiked into the cross the Friday before.  Mary and Mary have come to place warm oils on a cold body and bid farewell to the one man who gave reason to their hopes.  But it isn’t hope that leads the women up the mountain to the tomb, it is duty and devotion from which they expect nothing in return.  What could Jesus, a dead man offer?  The two women are not climbing the mountain to receive, they going to the tomb to give.

Mary and Mary knew a task had to be done, Jesus’ body had to be prepared for burial.  What if they had given up? said, “I’m sick of being the only one who cares but they carried on.  We now know something they didn’t, we know God was watching.  These two women thought they were alone but they weren’t.  They thought their journey was unnoticed but they were wrong.  God knew, he was watching them walk up the mountain.  He was measuring their steps.  He was smiling at their hearts and thrilled at their devotion and he had a surprise waiting for them.  At that time there was a strong earthquake.  An angel of the Lord came down from heaven, went to the tomb, and rolled the stone away from the entrance then sat on the stone.  He was shining bright as lightning and his clothes were white as snow.  The soldiers guarding the tomb shook with fear because of the angel and they became like dead men.  Why did the angel move the stone? For whom did he roll away the rock? The angel says, “Come and see the place where his body was”.  The stone was moved, not for Jesus but for the women.  “Go quickly and tell his followers, Jesus has risen from the dead”.  When he arose, the minds of those who had been witnesses to the crucifixion were changed as they saw the Risen Christ.  They knew then that all was not lost, and He was alive.

As Mountain residents, we are witness to and have evidence of Resurrections happening around us in Nature.  During winter, wood frogs freeze completely which stops their breathing and heart activity.  Then as spring comes about, these little amphibians unthaw and their breathing and heartbeat are restored.  During summer, we are able to see Resurrection occur in front of our eyes as a crawling caterpillar completely dissolves inside the chrysalis, then emerge alive and equipped for flight with its newly formed wings. In both these cases, these creatures have lived, gone through a death, then live again.

Resurrection happens daily when a surgeon performs heart surgery.  The old heart which would only bring death is removed and replaced with a strong, beating, life giving, heart.  For a limited amount of time, this person is clinically dead until their new heart begins to beat.  This is not the only medical procedure that resurrects humans from sure death.  Every day people choke, drown, have heart attacks, all of which have been brought back from the grasp of death to live once more.

For people in the secular arena, these resurrections are either performed through natural occurrences or by the hand of humans.  For people in the non-secular arena, God is in control of Life and Death and He still moves stones.

Artwork provided by Jackie Woodcock

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Jackie Woodcock was born and lives in the Adirondack Mountains. She is an apiarist, lepidopterist, conservationist, teacher, writer, artist, and a co-owner of SkyLyfeADK. You can find her SkyLyfeADK on Instagram and Facebook.


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47 Responses

  1. Bill Keller says:

    Resurrection or anastasis is the concept of coming back to life after death. In a number of religions, a dying-and-rising god is a deity which dies and is resurrected. This has never happened, unless of course if you are a frog.

    • AdkG says:

      Spoken like someone who woke up in an intolerant, sarcastic mood and just had to refute a post.

      • Bill Keller says:

        No, it’s the article I’m refuting and not a post. I posted the definition of “Resurrection” . The intolerant in this country are the “religious”, intolerant of anyone who is different. My opinion and nothing more. No name calling in my post or response though. I guess you prove my point.

        • Bob Meyer says:

          Well and truly said Bill.
          Thanks.

        • Jackie Woodcock says:

          Bill,
          It was obvious by your comments that my words annoyed/offended you. How presenting you with more as a response seemed futile in bringing about mutual respect, so I chose to celebrate Easter in peace with joy and thankfulness.

          • Bill Keller says:

            Your article did not annoy or offend me in the least. I respect everyone’s religious beliefs even though I am not a believer. Yet it seems to me that religions are less tolerant than I. Nothing in my initial post was disrespectful to you or your article. I stated my beliefs that resurrection is impossible, you think it happened. It’s OK in my world to have a difference in opinion. And a difference in opinion is not disrespectful. Some frogs “die” during the winter only to be “resurrected” in the spring. That is a scientific fact. I guess in today’s society if you have different beliefs than someone else ,you’re labeled disrespectful, intolerant and sarcastic.

            • Bob Meyer says:

              Once again, Bill, you are spot on with your reply. It is sadly obvious, and of course, not news that many people lack the ability or choose not to see equal validity in the beliefs and ideas of those of differing opinions. They can only see their worldview as the one, and only truth, whether it be Jesus, Muhammad, or taking over the temple mount in Jerusalem, and reestablishing the priesthood of fundamentalist Judaism. It all leads to intolerance.
              I strongly suggest that you all read Martin Buber’s great book I and Thou. For those who don’t know he was a Holocaust survivor, who grew to forgive, even his Nazi capturers and torturers and recognize and celebrate that there are as many truths as there are people.

  2. David Hodges says:

    “Easter” was originally the holiday Ostara celebrating the goddess Eostre. That’s where the symbology of eggs and rabbits comes from (symbols of fertility). Christianity took it over and (kinda) made it about something else.

    • Susan says:

      So? What is your point?

    • Worth Gretter says:

      Christianity took over a lot of things. Christians built churches on the ruins of Roman temples. They created holidays that fell on the same dates as earlier rituals. They knew that a good way to get accepted was to show the populace they were new and different but also retained some of the ties to the past.

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      I’m not sure how the pagan Holiday Ostara, celebrating the Spring equinox has anything to do with Easter and celebrating the resurrection of Christ. I know some modern day pagans also called Wiccans, and that last thing they would do is associate a Christian holiday with their celebrations and as these people are still celebrating Ostara, I would say nothing was hijacked from them these celebrations just are no longer observed by the masses like they were before Jesus lived.

      • Bob Meyer says:

        Do you take the Bible as literal historical reality/truth i.e.a fundamentalist? If so, there is nothing more to say. If you cherry pick what you believe eg. the earth was created in 7 days vs the resurrection of Christ then I think you are inconsistent. That’s fine. We all are to some degree. It’s human nature.
        If you are open to greater understanding you will discover that all the biblical holidays Old & New Testament derived from earlier cultures. The Judeo-Christian creation stories ( there are 2 versions in the Bible) have undeniable parallels with Ugaritic and Sumerian creation stories. It goes on and on for all 3 Abrahamic faiths; Judaism,Christianity and Islam.
        This doesn’t make anything less valuable or lessen the wisdom of the Bible. It only changes how you approach and use the wisdom it contains to ( hopefully) better the world.

  3. ADKresident says:

    Yes, He still moves stones!
    He still forgives, heals bodies, restores lives, sets souls free, restores hope and gives new life! Although man from every nation have tried, He cannot be erased, ignored or denied. His Name will forever be the rise and fall of mankind. Religion is death- but He forever lives!

    For God so loved the Cosmos, He gave…..
    Yeshua HaMashiach. Jesus Christ, Lord of All Creation.

    Celebrating HIStory! Happy Passover, Easter, Resurrection Day to all! 🌿

  4. Kevin MudRat says:

    Thanks Jackie. The reminder about Christ’s resurrection was a nice way to wake up as one of the ADK mountain Christians! Hope to see you soon.

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      Kevin,
      Thank you so much. Birds of a Feather Flock Together!! We’re sending lots of love and blessings your way!

  5. Kevin MudRat MacKenzie says:

    Thanks Jackie. The reminder about Christ’s resurrection was a nice start to the day. Hope to see you soon.

  6. Bob Meyer says:

    The scientific aspect is a constant wonder. The more we learn, and understand the workings of nature, the more amazing if he comes to our consciousness.
    The religious aspect, if you choose to believe, is a leap of faith. One specific religious beliefs is no more or less valid than anyone else’s religious beliefs, no matter what their faith.

    I respectfully suggest that this forum is a place for subjects and issues that pertain to the Adirondacks in the north country, and that we limit this platform to those subjects.

    • Rob says:

      Ha ha

    • Ben says:

      Thank you, Bob. There are other forums for “magical thinking.”

    • David Hodges says:

      Agreed, this wasn’t an appropriate place to publish this article.

    • Ghost Buster says:

      Amen.

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      I believe the responses speak for themselves. This is a subject that pertains to the Adirondacks, its just not a subject you’re interested in. It is to my understanding that no one is forced to read, believe or accept any information set forth by an author on this platform and you are no exception.

      • Bob Meyer says:

        Please tell me how proselytizing pertains specifically or generally to the Adirondacks. Would you say the same if the post came from another faith?
        No, my opinion on this platform is no more nor less than anyone else.
        And since when do you know what interests me? In fact religion is of great interest to me, just not here.

  7. Kim Pope says:

    Thank you Jackie for the reminder of Christ’s sacrifice and our salvation.

    He has risen indeed

    • Jackie Woodcock says:

      Amen! Thank you so much for your kind comment. Your support and encouragement are a Blessing to me.

  8. Jim Fox says:

    Thank you, Jackie. Celebrating rebirth at springtime is for us all. Thanks be to God.

  9. JBF says:

    Thank you Jackie. Reading it was a wonderful way to start Easter morning.

  10. Brian Sullivan says:

    How did this blatant piece of proselytisation for a particular religious sect get past the editor? I thought I had subscribed to a publication devoted to news of the Adirondacks and its communities.
    This is totally inappropriate.

    • JohnL says:

      Take a break Brian. How’s this for blatant. Happy Easter Brian! May the blessings and promises of the Easter season come to you and yours.

    • Mike says:

      Happy Easter Brian!

    • Pat Smith says:

      Happy Easter

    • ADKresident says:

      Faith is a vital and just as much a part of the ADK community as any other group, whether you choose to embrace a belief in God or not. We, and there are many of us, have just as much of a right to express our voice and beliefs in articles, poetry, etc. as a member of the ADK Community as anyone else. Wanting to silence, censor, or refusing to acknowledge our freedom of religion/speech is unAmerican and that, Brian, has no place in this forum. We are all included. Many of us enjoy the hope, light, and encouragement in some of the articles posted, in contrast to the constant negativity in our culture. (For that, thank you ADK Almanack for not suppressing this article!)

      After all, when then, do you get the opportunity to practice tolerance and inclusion, if not for being confronted with a post that triggers ‘your’ world view? Here is your chance. Claiming that this posting is ‘inappropriate’, is your opinion, which does not equate to anything else but that- your opinion.

      Have a wonderful Spring Day as many of us celebrate our Savior’s Resurrection! There is enough space for all of us in these beautiful mountains!
      Peace to you.

      • Jackie Woodcock says:

        Thank you so much! I appreciate your support and kind words and for speaking in my defense!

    • AdkG says:

      Brian,
      I’d be happy to see you unsubscribe from the Almanack in protest. You could have just as easily passed over this piece in silence as replied. Some of us in the community are happy to have this posted among the other pieces. And if you knew Jackie, you’d understand that this is how she expresses herself; it’s not “a blatant piece of proselytisation.”

      • Jackie Woodcock says:

        Thank you so much!! Truly I am Blessed to have such kind people to bear witness to my heart and character.

  11. Jackie Woodcock says:

    Happy Easter Everyone! Thank you for your love and support! A true Blessing to me!

  12. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “ADKresident says: “Faith is a vital and just as much a part of the ADK community as any other group, whether you choose to embrace a belief in God or not. We, and there are many of us, have just as much of a right to express our voice and beliefs in articles, poetry, etc. as a member of the ADK Community as anyone else. Wanting to silence, censor, or refusing to acknowledge our freedom of religion/speech is unAmerican and that Brian, has no place in this forum.”

    He has a place ADK, it’s just he should open his windows a bit more, to allow some fresh air in. I gotta say ADK, your above comment instills in me some sense of hope as I never realized you had so much liberal in you. You’re coming out of the closet are you?

    • ADKresident says:

      Lol! Well, you may be surprised to realize, Charlie, that we probably have more in common than not; I believe most of us do. But we tend to focus on our differences instead of our commonality and, as we know, whatever we focus on gets magnified, seeming to appear much larger than it actually is. Isn’t that the secret sauce in “how to divide & conquer” people ? You may be even more surprised that we could actually get along, share laughs and enjoy being neighbors, instead choosing to bicker and find fault every day. Imagine that!?

      Anyhow, thanks for the morning chuckle! -Have a pleasant day. 🐦

      • Bob Meyer says:

        Oh man, this is the best post so far!
        Here’s to COMMON GROUND and REAL COMMUNITY over divide and conquer !

  13. Bob Meyer says:

    To all those who agree with me that this subject may not be very relevant to the Adirondacks, I realize my last post is inconsistent with my opinion. My apologies. 😏

  14. Hi everyone! I just wanted to address a concern that was brought up in this post. In the past, people who contributed articles to the Almanack were able to see commenters’ email addresses in the comment notifications they received via email. We’ve changed that and going forward contributors will no longer receive email notifications about comments made on their posts. Thanks and hope that clears things up.

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