"What Will Happen to Us?"
Easter morning Mary Magdalene comes to Jesus' tomb and finds it empty. Notifying Peter and the beloved disciple, the two of them race to the tomb, the beloved disciple arriving first waits for Peter to enter, then he goes in and sees Jesus' burial clothes. The scripture says he saw and believed, though as yet he did not understand the scripture, that Jesus must rise from the dead.
There are many things, like the internet, that we may not understand, yet we believe in them and use them. We may not totally grasp or understand the crucifixion and resurrection, but we can see how for 2000 years it has worked in the hearts and minds of Christians, in our heart and mind.
The others leave, but Mary Magdalene "stays right there." Seeing someone she takes to be the gardener, she asks if he knows where they have taken Jesus' body. Jesus says to her, "Mary." She responds, "Rabbi!"
More than instant enlightenment or a lightening conversion experience, faith is obtained and nurtured by continuously placing ourselves in a position for God to speak to us. Even though all looked lost, Mary chose to stay right there. Do we place ourselves in a position, by attending worship, reading our Bible, going to God in prayer, so that God has the opportunity to speak to our hearts and minds?
"Mary." Mary did not recognize Jesus. But Jesus knew her. The resurrection affirms that Jesus knows us and cares about us.
"...go tell my brothers..." Go tell those who abandoned me. Go tell Peter who denied me three times. These eleven men were more worried about themselves than Jesus. And yet, Jesus calls them "brothers." Each one of us understands the disciples' fear, their shame and humiliation. Our incidents of abandoning Christ, denying him in our work, our marriages, our finances, sometimes even our politics, are too numerous to list.
But the resurrection reminds us that Jesus does not abandon us. We can right the ship. We can change. We can step forward to renew and replenish our faith. We have this opportunity because he sees us as his brothers and sisters.
On this Monday after the celebration of Jesus' resurrection, can I affirm that Christ is here, that he knows my name, that he offers those who believe victory in this world and the next?
Ludwig WeaverJohn 20:16: "Jesus said to her, 'Mary! She turned and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rabbouni!'" (which means Teacher).