Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

“Why are your weeping?  Whom are you looking for?”  Asks the one, who already knows the answers.

When I read the resurrection story, as John shares it in his Gospel, it sounds like the same kind of set-up and content for all those great reunion videos that quickly go viral.  The target is someone caught totally unsuspecting that the person they’re interacting with at a store or a restaurant is actually somebody important to them, maybe a long-deployed military spouse or a beloved cousin, now grown up.  But once the mystery-person begins to speak, a revelation happens for the target and their reaction becomes the priceless payoff to this practical joke.

John’s gospel is no joke of course, and Mary certainly isn’t laughing.  She’s full-on anguished.  Not only is Jesus dead, but his tomb has also been emptied and the whereabouts of his body are a mystery.  But what Mary seeks is standing right in front of her and asking the questions.  Curiously, Mary’s response to “who?” is “where?”  She’s just not getting it and the drama builds.  But who would expect to find the dead where the living now stands, breathes, and speaks?

Perhaps taking some pity in her moment of confusion and despair, Jesus finally lets his target in on the truth and calls her by name, “Mary!”  And everything changes at just the sound of her name being exclaimed aloud by the very one she seeks, her teacher, her rabbi, her friend.  The longed for becomes realized in the very moment Mary hears her name.  She is recognized by Jesus so that all might recognize God, no longer among the dead but bringing life back to the world instead.  The greatest surprise of all.

We give thanks today that Mary’s revelation became the most viral sensation of all.   Mary couldn’t keep this joy to herself and, though she was the first to share it, just consider all the Jesus followers that have told and re-told this story ever since. 

May God’s peace come to you this day.  -Pastor Peter

Let us pray…

God of this Easter revelation, you give us the joy of celebrating with the unsuspecting at the news of Jesus’ resurrection.  May we continue to tell the story of this marvelous moment so that this good news will become a delight for all the world.  Amen.