Happy Easter to one and all.
This day has come after what seems like a particularly trying winter. Edisto received 7 inches of snow not so long ago! In Maine later winter snow was termed “poor man’s fertilizer.
” Now we’re ready for consistent warmer weather. And with that now past and with it Lent, we can consider
the scene at the tomb where Mary makes a monumental mistake. She doesn’t recognize the Risen Lord. She mistakes him to be the gardener.
Mary is concerned with the tomb, the place where she expected to see a dead body, that of Jesus.
He is not there. Turning around she sees someone different. The current translation says “gardener.
” Now we have a picture in our minds that suggests someone who takes care of plants, cuts the grass and
does general maintenance making sure things are neat and tidy. But I don’t think anyone employed someone
in that position in those days. Try thinking of the word “custodian” and you’d be closer to the meaning. That word suggests someone who cleans up trash, cast off stuff and unsanitary material. Is that what God intended Jesus to do? Of course. He takes away and sanctifies all our trash, mistakes; the unsanitary stuff in our lives
and does it willingly, because he has life in God for ever and God desires us to be pure and holy forever.
Like Mary, we go back to what we expect, not to seek out the improbable and unexpected. Looking into the
tomb doesn’t connect us with that. Yes, Mary does receive some directions but it isn’t until the Risen Lord
says “Mary” that anything really changes. It is a mystical encounter that transcends time and space.
Her new life begins when she hears her name.
So, the question, it seems for us is this: Can we trust enough to even go to the tomb? Do we stop and just look
at the familiar-a tomb that’s empty and go home or do we turn around and continue seeking the life that God promises? Can you hear your name-is it whispered to you or drowned out by the cacophony of noise that
usually surrounds us? The world says, “let’s just mourn our loses” but the voice of God says “He is Risen.” Can we walk out of the tomb and be with Jesus Christ or do we just want to have a conversation with the angels inside?