The Easter story has similar moments to it. Mary did not recognise Jesus in the garden by the tomb, because she was so wrapped up in her own thoughts, trying to figure what the empty tomb meant. The disciples on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognise Jesus, because they were so focussed on discussing the extraordinary events that been happening – the death of Jesus and the reports of the empty tomb. In both stories, Jesus just had to wait until the individuals were ready to see him. They needed to look up, unstop their ears and really focus in on the present moment.
How often are we like the young man who missed the sunset? Or Mary? Or the disciples? I know that I have to intentionally stop and make myself look around when I am on my walks, or I too, am just caught up in my own internal universe, with ears and eyes closed to what is around me. I even struggle in my quiet time sometimes to see beyond all that is going on for me, to see Jesus waiting patiently for me to experience his presence.
And yet God breaks through into our lives, in spite of all that we do to distract ourselves. It may be through the beauty and power of creation, it may be through a small and unexpected act of kindness, or sometimes in those moments of deep knowing, when we experience with certainty that God is with us. The message of Easter is just that – God is with us. Jesus is sometimes called “Emmanuel”, meaning “God is with us”. Jesus’ resurrection shows us that death cannot separate us from God. Jesus – human and divine continues to exist, continues to be present in unexpected places. I invite you this week to intentionally stop, once each day and really take time to look and listen to the world around you. Jesus is waiting…