Greetings St. Philip’s UCC!
By John’s gospel account, Mary Magdalene is the first person to see the risen Christ. She’s also the first person to proclaim the Good News—to tell others about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Her first words, according to John, are simple and straight to the point: “I have seen the Lord.”
Maybe you haven’t happened upon an empty tomb (or maybe you have?), but I suspect that there are many in our midst—in our world, in our community, in our congregation, in our families—who have also “seen the Lord.” People who have seen the face of Christ in the face of their neighbor. People who have witnessed God’s love and grace being expressed through another person. People who have known God’s tender and healing presence through the care of someone else. Where have you seen the Lord?
Following Easter Sunday, our liturgical calendar devotes fifty days to the Eastertide season. For several weeks, we’ll revisit the stories of the risen Christ appearing to the disciples on a number of occasions before Jesus finally ascends to be with God. And then, finally, fifty days after we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we’ll celebrate Pentecost Sunday—the birthday of the Church, when the first disciples receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit in an extravagant flourish of wind and fire. The story continues!
Mary may have been the first to “see the Lord,” but the rest of the disciples will soon “see the Lord” too, a few times even! And over the past two thousand years, people have continued to “see the Lord” in all kinds of places and faces—with some surprising and unexpected sightings happening all the time. If you pay attention, if you watch closely with anticipation and expectation, I’d imagine you just might “see the Lord” all around you. Try it, and let me know what you discover!
May this Eastertide season be filled with sightings of the holy, and may the hope and the promise of the resurrection fill us with joy to spread far and wide!
Blessings and joy,