On Sunday, October 30, 1938 at 8:00 pm, the CBS Radio series The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast its 17th episode, “The War of the Worlds.” This reading from H. G. Wells’ novel tells the story of a Martian invasion of Earth. Howard Koch, who adapted the story for radio, changed its setting from 19th-century England to the contemporary United States. Orson Wells narrated. Unfortunately, some listeners missed the introduction indicating that this was a work of fiction. A portion of the audience believed that the broadcast was actually a newscast reporting the start of a Martian invasion.
On Sunday, early in the first century, three women make their way to Jesus’ tomb. What they find is far from what they expect. No body lies within the tomb to receive their care; instead, a messenger meets them to declare that Jesus has been raised. When the women leave the tomb that morning, they are under no delusion. Something of divine proportions has happened, something Jesus talked about throughout his ministry. They say nothing to anyone, for they are afraid (v. 8), perhaps afraid no one will believe them. Had they been around on October 30, 1938, they might have said that a Martian invasion would be easier for people to believe than the story of the resurrection. The women are right about what they saw, however, and eventually they do tell the almost unbelievable story of the empty tomb.
The story we tell of God’s work in our lives can sound too good to be true. Love so amazing, so divine, transcends even death itself to hold us close. That sounds unbelievable to many, but it’s a story we must be unafraid to tell.
When did the story of the resurrection become meaningful for you? How do you share God’s redeeming work in your life with others?
Open our eyes, hearts, and minds, God, so we’ll experience your loving presence among us. Open our mouths and hands to share what we find . Amen.