‘So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy’ (Matthew 28:8a).
‘When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted’ (Matthew 28:17).
The event that the first followers of Jesus found themselves in the middle of, on the first Easter Sunday morning, was not a nice, unambiguous, homely sort of miracle, the kind you could put on an Easter card and write a Hallmark greeting about. Rather, it was an overwhelming encounter with a reality far beyond their experience or their understanding. Their meetings (a rather mundane word for the sort of experiences the gospels describe!) with the Risen Jesus were elusive, unpredictable, and entirely outside their control. Some apparently had no doubt that it was their Master Jesus they were seeing and hearing and touching and sharing food with; others weren’t so sure. They were full of joy, but also full of fear and awe.
Lord Jesus Christ, I long to experience the joy of your resurrection, but I’m not so sure I want the fear, the awe, the sense that events are getting unpredictable and moving beyond the point where I can control them. The problem is, I suspect it all comes as a package deal.
I know, Lord, that I can’t conjure up your presence, as if you were a genie I could summon by rubbing a lamp. But I can worship you, the one to whom all authority on heaven and earth has been given, and I can hold myself ready to hear your voice and obey your command to proclaim your message, in the confidence that you are with me always, to the end of the age. Amen.