“Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.” John 20:16-18
“I’d stay in the garden with him though the night around me be falling,
But he bids me go; thru the voice of woe his voice to me is calling.
And he walks with me, and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own;
and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.
“In the Garden”, by C. Austin Miles
“I have seen the Lord!”
Christ is risen! Hallelujah!
Christ is risen, indeed!!
The other day, Sophie, an elderly Palestinian woman living in Jerusalem was asked by a Jewish woman while crossing the street, “Are you waiting for the Messiah?” “No!” Sophie replied, “he already came and we are waiting for his return!”
In the midst of life, there is suffering, killings, tears and fears; there is also thriving, living, smiles and joys. Some days, we do not want to hear the news… how much more can happen in Syria, in Libya, in Nigeria, in Israel, in Palestine, in your place? Where is your faith leading you?
Mary saw the Lord! Sophie knows the Lord! Two women separated by nearly 2000 years, know their faith because of their encounters with the Messiah, Jesus the Christ! No matter, the trials of life, we can stand firm on our faith. We are not alone, and when we look closely, we can see the Lord in the eyes of our neighbors… then comes the hard part, living into the Gospel message of love and forgiveness, of justice and grace.
This year, in the midst of turmoil and conflicts, what would it look like if we lived our lives striving for extravagant justice and love?
I have seen the Lord! Have you?
Amazing and ever loving God, remain with us, abide in us, and transform us! May we have the eyes to see hope in the resurrection and compassion to express love through justice to all of humanity. Amen.
-Rev. Kristen L. Brown, GBGM Mission Liaison to Palestine and Israel