Most of us found ourselves celebrating Easter this year in ways we probably never envisioned, most of us are currently living in ways we never envisioned, and I am wondering if there are similarities in how we might be feeling and how Mary Magdaline may have felt on that first Easter morning.
If we try to place ourselves in Mary’s position early that morning she must have been devastated. Her dear friend Jesus has just experienced a horrific death and she witnessed it and yet was powerless in preventing it from happening. The man who meant so much to her, who was her teacher, her friend, and her hope for a different world was now gone. Easter morning she was simply trying to grieve, and then when she gets to the tomb it is empty! Can you imagine how low, how devastated she must have felt with that discovery? Our scriptures tell us that a couple of really frantic events then occur. She runs and gets other disciples. They run to the tomb but then quickly run back to their house. She sticks around, probably because she is simply too numb to even move at that time. And then, the Risen Christ appears!
Today we are finding ourselves in a world we could hardly imagine a couple of weeks ago. An awful lot that we value is not available right now. Some people have witnessed devastation that is beyond comprehension. There are moments that seem to stand still and yet the world we live in seems to be changing drastically every 12 hours. In some ways I think it might be relatively easy to imagine how Mary might have felt early on that Easter morning. Our situation is certainly different, but there is enough to stand back and declare we might have an idea of where she was at.
I want you to hear that in all of the confusion, and chaos, and grief that Mary was experiencing, Christ was with her. Christ did not appear in a form that she was expecting, who would have expected Christ to appear as a gardener? But Christ and God was there. In that same way I am convinced Christ and God is with us on this Easter, maybe not as we are expecting, but I am convinced they are here in some form. Maybe in an amazing sunrise or sunset, or in the birds chirping, and the breeze blowing. Christ is present in your life as well. It can be hard to see, especially in the middle of our chaos. Remember Mary struggled to recognize Christ at first, she was convinced he was simply a gardener. Maybe Christ is present in the nurse working a long shift, or the neighbor looking out for an elderly friend. I encourage you to be on the lookout for the Risen Christ in your life today.