by Christine Sine
It is the day after Easter and I sit here in the glow of the resurrection, immersed in its joy and surrounded by its celebration. It is hard for us, with our foreknowledge of the events of Easter Sunday, to comprehend the incredible joy the women who came early to the tomb must have felt. They came with heavy hearts and eyes swollen and red with weeping but left with joy and dancing. Resurrection had broken into their lives.
Can you imagine Peter, coming to the tomb riddled with guilt because of his betrayal of Jesus? He too was surprised by resurrection, not just encountering the risen Christ, but seeing that new life emerge in himself as he wept tears of repentance and joy.
I can imagine, around them, spring bursting into bloom too, a reminder to these first disciples and to us too that resurrection was always part of God’s plan from the beginning of time. Resurrection surprises us, but it never surprises God. The Easter season does not end with Easter Sunday however. It extends until Pentecost and celebrates both the resurrection of Jesus and also the many ways the resurrected Christ comes to meet us and is expressed through our lives.
This weekend I realized something else startling, profound but quite simple – we don’t come to Jesus, Jesus comes to us.
So often we talk about “coming to Jesus” as though we are the ones who control what happens. But we aren’t. Jesus comes to us, as he did to Mary in the garden. The work of resurrection, revelation and transformation lies squarely on his shoulders. And he knows what I need. Nothing is asked of us except a willingness to listen and be willing to walk with him on a new journey into a new way of life.
As I read the accounts of Jesus post resurrection appearances over the weekend, I was stunned by the messages that I so often and so easily gloss over. Messages that seem so appropriate for the post COVID-19 world in which we live.
I look at the disciples and Jesus followers and and I am reminded that Jesus comes to us, the presence of love comes to us, when we are in the place of grief and despair and draws us into the light of a bright and shining day. It doesn’t mean that life is the way it was before, but does mean that change and transformation are possible because Jesus is still with us.
Jesus comes in resurrection glory:
- When I grieve and am full of despair
- WhenI am full of fear
- When I am confused
- WhenI am filled with guilt
- When I doubt
- When I have lost my faith
- When my hopes have been shattered.
- When I feel lost and alone
- When I do not understand
Jesus comes in unexpected places and to unexpected people:
- he come to us when we weep in the garden
- he waits in the empty tomb when all our hopes and expectations have been turned upside down
- he comes to those whom no one will believe
- to those who walk on a journey of confusion and bewilderment
- he penetrates beyond the locked doors of our hearts
- he meets us on the beach when we are going about our ordinary everyday work and asks us to start a new journey
Where has Jesus come to you this week? What are you struggling with in this turbulent situation in which we all find ourselves that you need to feel the presence of Jesus in your life?
Sit for a few minutes breathing in and out quietly. Watch the video below. Reflect on your own experiences over the season of Easter. In what ways have you been surprised by resurrection? What new things are you aware of that are emerging into life? How does God ask you to nurture them into maturity in this ongoing Easter season?
Now close your eyes. Take some deep breaths in and out and Allow Jesus to enter into your soul.
Let the presence of Almighty God
Allow the love of the Glorious One
To still the turmoil of your soul.
Listen carefully with an open heart.
Hear the words of eternal truth.
Let them bring you life
In the midst of chaos.
(Christine Sine April 2020)