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Do You See Him?
by Elaine Pierce
My husband and I were grocery shopping last week, and we ran into a masked shopper that we thought we knew. Gene greeted her by name, and she said, sorry, that's not me. Oops. (Hard to tell with the mask on sometimes, isn't it?)
In today's passage, Mary doesn't recognize Jesus when she goes to the tomb to mourn his death. She thinks perhaps he is the gardener, and she begs him to tell her where he has taken Jesus' body. Jesus looks at her, and all he says is "Mary." She then realizes that the Risen Christ is standing before her, and, overcome, she cries out "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher).
Mary and the disciples saw Jesus crucified on the cross. They watched as his lifeless body was taken down from the tree, and they knew that he was dead. We can understand why she was not expecting him to greet her at the tomb, even though just a few hours earlier she knew the tomb was empty. But of course he had been moved - that must have been what happened. She is anxious to find his body and make sure he is properly buried.
She missed all the signs that Jesus would rise from the dead, didn't she? How could she have been so blind? He told his followers very clearly that he would be raised three days after his death (See Matthew 16, 17, 20, Mark 8, 9, 10, and Luke 9 and 18). But they missed it. Or - they thought that perhaps Jesus was wrong, and that they had spent three years following a man who had betrayed them.
Jesus didn't have a mask on, like our friend in the grocery store. But Mary was not expecting him, so she missed what was right in front of her face. Don't we all do that at times? We are certain that we know what God wants us to do, so we don't bother to pray about it. We have been a Christian for a long time, and we think we have all the answers. Or we just don't take the time to listen to that still, small voice. He will wait for us. Every day, he wants to meet with us. Take time today, and every day, to see Jesus. He's worth it, my friends. Join me in telling your friends, just like Mary did, that "I have seen the Lord!"
Dear Lord, so often I don't take the time to see you. I get caught up in my busy day and my priorities, and I don't look for you. Help me, every day, to stop and spend time with you. Thank you for your love and your desire to meet me, just as I am. Amen.