Christ is Risen! Alleluia!!
He is not here. What an astonishing thing to hear. Come and see the place where he lay. To see the tomb, empty, must have been an awe-filling, frightening experience. How would any of us have reacted to this? I’m, not certain, but running away in total fear seems like a good idea. Yet Mary Magdalene and the other Mary did not run in fear. They ran, and they were certainly fearful, but they ran joyfully to tell the others what had just happened. On their way they met Christ, the Risen Christ, whose first words to them were, “Do not be afraid.” He sent them to tell the others to meet in Galilee.
He is not here. In a great many ways it would have been easier if he were there. That would have conformed to what was expected, they would have known how to react. Everyone has lost someone, everyone can mourn. But Christ wasn’t there, the tomb was empty, and they weren’t sure how to react. The world as they understood it no longer existed. They needed reassurance, they needed to hear those words, do not be afraid. Jesus wasn’t where he was supposed to be, he was where he needed to be.
As we go about, living our lives, we do the things we must, and often we take our faith, we take Christ, and place him inside a nice little box with a very secure lid. Once in a while, maybe on Sunday, we open the box to peek in, to make sure that he is still there, and that all is right with the world as we think it should be. Until we come to today. We open the box to check in and discover he’s gone, he is not there. How can this be? We had everything arranged perfectly, each part of our lives in its own box, everything where it should be, and now this. Looking again, we realize that someone has been moving things around in the other boxes. What is going on here? I had it all the way I wanted it, and now it’s all confused. Not sure where to turn, not sure what to do we look again at the boxes and realize that maybe some of these changes aren’t that bad, they may even be an improvement. Then we see him, we hear the assuring words, do not be afraid. Slowly we come to understand that he is not there, in that box. Christ is not where we want him to be, Christ is where we need him to be.
March 23, 2008