Pascha I: Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord
Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Psalm 118; 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8; Matthew 28:1-10
“Whom are you looking for?” [John 18:4] It is the question Jesus asked of us Friday. I am reminded of the bride in the love poetry of the Song of Songs racing through the city crying out to the men on the watchtowers “Have you seen him whom my heart loves?” [Song of Songs 3:3] When in love our hearts race, our feet give pursuit in search of our Lover, a glimpse, an unexpected encounter and we are complete.
“Whom are you looking for?” And whether we realize it or not the angel who descends as lightening knows our deepest longing. “I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.” [Matthew 28:5]
The resurrection is love poetry given flight. The resurrection is a series of unexpected encounters with the Jesus we love and are seeking to know evermore deeply.
“And behold, Jesus met the women on their way…they approached and embraced his feet…” The heart skips a beat! [Matthew 28:9]
“And as Mary of Magdala wept…Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener… Jesus said to her, Mary! She turned and said, Teacher!” Recognition that pierces the anguish of death! [John 20:15-16]
“And it happened that while two disciples were conversing and debating, Jesus drew near and walked with them. As they approached the village to which they were going…they urged Jesus, “Stay with us” While he was with them at table, he broke break…and their hearts were burning within them.” An ordinary act causes a flood of memories and the Lover is present within us. [See Luke 24:13ff]
“Simon Peter said to the disciples, “I am going fishing”…When Peter and the disciples returned to shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them…Come and have breakfast.” Smiles, eyes watering in joy, eating…nothing need be said as the everyday becomes wonderful! [John 21:3, 9-10, 12]
Is there anything more delightful than being in love?
Consider the unexpected encounter with the person you love. …recognizing them at a distance as you pick them up at an airport, from work or college. …a knock at the door and a surprise visit. …accidentally bumping into them literally at a public event, while turning the corner on the sidewalk around a building.
This most human of experiences, this search for another so as to be complete; a search caused by the heat of a heart filled with anticipation is raised to the level of the divine. The human is taken up into the divine. Water becomes the means that death is conquered and life emerges. Bread that satisfies and yet causes us to desire more of the Beloved. Choice wine that celebrates life because it is itself eternal life. The flame of a candle reminding us to keep searching even in the darkest parts of ourselves and beyond our sin where our lover, Jesus waits to embrace us.
Still unsure? More confident along the path of life? Just starting out to search? Coming to the completion of the journey? Wherever you maybe in life, heed the angel who descends like lightening, “I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.”