Thursday, March 27, 2008



“Mary.” The resurrected Christ’s first word: Mary. It must have been the sweetest sound Mary had ever heard. The voice was so familiar, its peculiarities unmistakable. It was the voice of her Lord. Unbelievable! The world started up again.

Mary had suffered unimaginable loss. Jesus was friend, teacher, master, and hope for the whole nation. His death had brought despair too deep to imagine. One word, one glance, and all that grief and fear and guilt and loss were wiped away. “He’s here.”

I wonder sometimes if, in our dark times, we overestimate what it would take to speak to our condition. Sure, there’s the stone that has to be rolled away, there’s the problem of the care of the body, there’s the political fall-out still to come from the Romans and the religionists. And life has been racing headlong in a single focused direction requiring more and more resources. Plans are made. But...where now… and to what end?

In a heartbeat, or we should say, in the loss of a heartbeat, hope is taken away, and then in a word, hope is restored. The problems of the stone, the body, the future, the mortgage, the faltering relationship, unemployment, the estranged daughter, the bitter co-worker, the unspeakable loss, are all rendered less than lethal on the basis of one small insertion into the picture. “Mary.”

Sometimes that’s all we need to take the next step - a word from Jesus that he is still with us. We are, in fact, not alone as we had assumed. “Jesus is here.” My goodness! How sweet and savory those words can be!

We thought that Jesus had gone on about his business – reconciling the world, ushering in the Kingdom, building the church, working for peace and justice through a thousand different expressions of faith. We thought that the whole “Jesus and me” concept was just Sunday school fodder to keep away the boogie man. We thought that the cumulative impact of our taking our own path had finally led to a wilderness to which Jesus would not venture.

But there it is, clear and distinct in the morning air: “Mary.” And there He is, breaking bread with those nail-pierced hands. Suddenly we are transported across the unfathomable chasm between are greatest hope and our deepest loss. However we experience his presence, just to have him near tips the scales, frees our paralyzed hope, and warms us enough to move on in spite of the cold.


It doesn’t get any better than this.

1 comment:

Mal4 said...

Stan, thanks. You are right, it does not get any better than this.