Sunday, 12 April 2009

Gone before

Mark 16:1-8
When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.
They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ But when they looked they could see that the stone – which was very big – had already been rolled back. On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him. But you must go and tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him, just as he told you.”’

Happy Easter and how is it for you. Did you wake up with the brightest of new dawns and a joyful dawn chorus? Did the bleakness of Lent disappear with the knowledge that the Resurrected Christ is remembered this day?

I have to say that I didn't. Some of the Lenten feeling, which actually preceded Lent, had not gone away. Yet I took part in every step of the journey that the church offered me and, I thought, more besides. I was disappointed - I try not to believe in magic - but I was hoping for some.

Then I heard the morning's Gospel and it came to me. It is not a Resurrection heralded with fireworks or even a multitude of angels; it is not Jesus walking on air into Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple; it is not a mass revolution of faith and belief.

There is such a quietness to the Resurrection; the natural dawn - no special star or eclipse; the stone rolled away - not blasted. The God of the weak, the unwanted, the unclean, the unworthy still will not put himself above us. He is, even more so, where we are. Jesus simply came back as he left - with the humility of a servant - and he went home.

So if you didn't find him in the pomp and circumstance of the Easter Mass perhaps, like me, you were looking in the wrong place. Perhaps you need to sit quietly and seek him in your home, in your place, in your inner God space. Because, if you ever need him - that's as far as you will need to look.


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