“Jesus rarely comes where we expect Him; He appears where we least expect Him, and always in the most illogical connections. The only way a worker can keep true to God is by being ready for the Lord’s surprise visits.” ~ Oswald Chambers
Happy Easter. Christ is Risen!! It was a wonderful day, wasn’t it?
As some of you may have noticed, I didn’t send out A Friday Meditation last week. I planned to and I wrote one. The problem was that I didn’t know how to finish it. But, I’ll try again.
The Easter season celebrates the time that Jesus showed His risen self to the disciples. It was always a surprise visit because they were not expecting him to show up. They didn’t really understand what he was saying when he told them that he would be back in three days, so it took a minute or two for them to recognize him.
I can relate, even today, though I expect him to show up. Let me explain. The choir sings at both of our Sunday services on Easter. As a member, I hoped to make it through both services since whatever illness it is that I keep fighting had me pretty worn out. I was doing OK when I went down the stairs from the choir loft at the second service to receive Communion.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a family of four wandering around the Narthex (lobby). The father was looking in to the sanctuary through the windows in the closed doors. I said hello. I looked at them and they looked at me. I thought she was going to say something, but she didn’t and I didn’t. The rest of the choir came down, and the service continued.
As I sat in the loft after communion, a light bulb came on as I started thinking about that family. What did they want or need? Had they wanted to come to the service, but since it was pretty full, the doors were shut and they didn’t know what to do, they didn’t? Did they need some help? I don’t know because I didn’t ask. The thought struck me, “I just passed Jesus in the narthex and didn’t stop because I was on my way to communion.” I was too focused on myself to stop and see what was needed. I was absolutely horrified when I realized this. I didn’t do it deliberately, but I wasn’t being aware. I wasn’t “paying attention.” Sigh.
I am sorry and I prayed for forgiveness, but the scene hasn’t left me. This probably means that I’m having another growth opportunity. Jesus works this way by turning our mistakes into a learning experience. This has happened to me before and it has changed me – transformed me, actually. I don’t know how I will be changed this time, but I know that I will – in awareness, I hope.
I have one more Easter story about a conversation my granddaughter had with her four-year old daughter – my great-granddaughter and God-daughter, Sarah. Sarah: “Jesus died and came alive again.” Mommie: “Yes…?” Sarah: “So, I think I’ll die.” Mommie: “No! You don’t need to die because Jesus rose again.” Sarah: “Well, I think I’ll chance it.”
Children put things so well. After I caught my breath from the shock of hearing this from a four-year old – I wondered what she was thinking – I remembered that we all must die to our ego-centered selves so that Jesus can be resurrected in us and so that we can be transformed into his image. Thanks be to God. It’s hard but I think I’ll chance it. I need to.