I've been surprised lately by some people's lack of faith that any change for the better is possible in the church, a stance that seems in contradiction to the Easter message. Here, then, is the way that Easter would have gone down with that attitude.
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Then Peter said, “Well, that’s nice, I guess. But how long are you supposed to be staying? I’ll bet you’re leaving soon, right?” And Jesus said, “Soon I must ascend to my Father and to your Father.”
“That’s exactly what we were worried about,” said John, whom Jesus loved. “See?” he said to the other disciples. “I told you so. I knew that story about the empty tomb was too good to be true. This is so disappointing.”
Then John asked Jesus, “So what are we supposed to do after you leave?”
Jesus said, “I want you to be filled with joy that I have risen from the dead! That life has triumphed over death, that love has triumphed over hatred, and that nothing is impossible with God! And I want you to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth!
“Uh huh,” said Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. “I figured it was going to be something like that. The ends of the earth? You realize how much work that’s going to be for us, don’t you? All that traveling? What a pain. And, you know Lord, with you gone, that will definitely mean arguments and fighting and everyone taking sides. Basically, things will be a mess. This is terrible news. Pretty much a nightmare if you ask me.”
Jesus was grieved by their lack of joy. “Divisions might happen from time to time,” he said, “but if you trust that I will be with you until the end of the age, and that I will the send the Spirit to help, you will be able to move ahead in faith.”
“The Spirit?” said Philip. “Please. Trust in something we can’t even see? How is that supposed to work?”
“Blessed are those who have not seen but still believe!” said Jesus.
“What a mess this is turning out to be,” said James, the son of Zebedee. “Preaching the Gospel sounds like a non-starter, as far as I can tell. And frankly I'm not alone in that assessment, Lord. First of all, people don't seem all that interested in loving and forgiving. Plus, we’re sure to be fighting all the time. We can’t see the Spirit. And frankly, the travel requirement is a bit much, don't you think? I mean, no offense, Lord, but the ends of the earth? You only spent time in Judea and
“Aren’t you joyful that I have risen from the dead?” Jesus asked, hoping that they would share in his joy.
The disciples were silent.
"Nobody?" said Jesus. "No one is happy that nothing is impossible with God?"
“Not if it means more work for us,” said Peter.
Jesus decided to try his luck with Mary Magdalene.