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Sunday, March 27, 2016

I Have to Admit



Sometimes I have a little bit of trouble pulling myself away from the suffering and death and mourning of Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  I'm pretty comfortable with silence and darkness.  I like cloudy days and sitting outside in the middle of a good thunderstorm. 

I like the story of Mary, not that I would have arrived early in the morning at the tomb.  Let's be real, my alarm didn't even sound, this morning, which led to frantic rushing around and kids in tennis shoes for Easter Sunday worship.  But I digress.  I like the late night darkness... and the early morning darkness, only if I have not yet fallen asleep.  Never mind.  It has just occurred to me that I might have been there early in the morning.  I might have just sat there all night long.

John 20:11-16, "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.  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.”

I hate that Mary doesn't recognize Jesus when he is standing right in front of her face.  Maybe she's crying too hard.  Grief can cloud our vision.  But I love that Jesus has only to say one word, her name, and she knows.    

I like the story of Cleopas (and let's just assume it's his wife), too.    

Luke 24:13-18, 30-32 "Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.  He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”  They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”(NIV).

I hate that these two travelers on the road to Emmaus do not recognize Jesus when he is walking beside them.  I feel as if they are analyzing what has occurred.  This can be distracting.  When Cleopas asks Jesus why he's so out of the loop, I choke a little bit, but then I am alarmingly certain that I might have asked the same thing. 

Luke 24:30-32, "When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Eucharist... Nail scarred hands... Oh wait.  Now they get it!

I've been doing the Easter thing all day.  You know... the "getting dressed and going to church and stamping my feet over the lousy selfie and gathering with the family for dinner and reminding myself for the hundredth time that I need to pull the kids' buckets out of the garage when we get home, because our Easter bunny is just as irresponsible as our tooth fairy," Easter thing...

If I think too much about life, there are tears.  If I think too much about death, there are tears.  I'm going to take comfort in knowing I'm in good company.

I'm a little late to the party, but, it is Easter.

Isaiah 25:8-9, "he will swallow up death forever.  The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.  The Lord has spoken.  In that day they will say, 'Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us.  This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.' (NIV).

Psalm 118:24, "The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad" (NIV).

He is risen.  He is risen, indeed.

John 20:18, “I have seen the Lord!”

L.

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