Jesus had a knack for never being where you would expect to find him. What could be more unexpected than a child who was conceived in the womb of a virgin? As an adult, he always seemed to be found among the people who were considered to be forsaken by God. He died on a Cross, which was the last place anyone ever expected to look for the Savior of humanity. After they took his dead body down, they laid him in a tomb, and rolled a huge stone in front of the entrance. “There,” they told themselves, “that should hold him.” There were a lot of things on Mary Magdalene’s mind when she returned to the tomb a few days later, but not finding Jesus there probably wasn’t one of them. Some things never change, though. The tomb was empty. And Jesus, who had been thoroughly dead, was soon making unexpected appearances to his disciples, in the land of the living. First, to Mary herself outside the tomb where he had been buried. Then to a couple of disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus showed up unexpectedly again on a beach where he had breakfast cooking for the disciples over a small fire on the beach.
A lot of time has passed since then, and you think that we would have learned by now that Jesus turns up where we least expect him to be. But I wonder if we don’t still do too much looking for Jesus in the wrong places. If so, we could be missing him in the losses, disappointments and pains that we THINK we are going through alone. Maybe we’re overlooking his presence among the poor and marginalized people that he calls us to serve in his name. Perhaps we are failing to see him standing beside the difficult people he is urging us to forgive, or in the places within us where we are mercilessly critical and unforgiving to ourselves. May this Easter bless you with the eyes to see the risen Jesus in the places where you would least expect him to be, and especially in the times when you need him most.
Grace and Peace,