Surprise visits Resurrection

Surprise visits

“JESUS IS APT TO COME, into the very midst of life at its most real and inescapable. Not in a blaze of unearthly light, not in the midst of a sermon, not in the throes of some kind of religious daydream, but . . . at supper time, or walking along a road. This is the element that all the stories about Christ's return to life have in common: Mary waiting at the empty tomb and suddenly turning around to see somebody standing there—someone she thought at first was the gardener; all the disciples except Thomas hiding out in a locked house, and then his coming and standing in the midst; and later, when Thomas was there, his coming again and standing in the midst; Peter taking his boat back after a night at sea, and there on the shore, near a little fire of coals, a familiar figure asking, "Children, have you any fish?"; the two men at Emmaus who knew him in the breaking of the bread. He never approached from on high, but always in the midst, in the midst of people, in the midst of real life and the questions that real life asks.”

Frederick Buechner, originally published in The Magnificent Defeat

Resurrection Chapel at Washington National Cathedral

Resurrection Chapel at Washington National Cathedral

Buechner is describing how we see Jesus in our lives, in our real lives. We do not necessarily need to go on some great pilgrimage or be in an ancient cathedral.  God is all around us in our everydayness. Our ministry as spiritual friends is helping each other see God in our everyday lives.

 All of these resurrection stories give us many clues as to where and how to find Jesus. Jesus’s appearance is a surprise. It is off of the agenda. Jesus is usually not immediately recognized. Jesus does ordinary things like cooking and eating and walking. Jesus looks like an ordinary person but may do extraordinary things like walking through walls. Jesus still bears his wounds, but they are healed.  Jesus feeds us. Jesus calls us by name. Jesus appears to ordinary people. With the exception of Jesus’ appearance to Paul on the road to Damascus, Jesus appears to those who know him. Most importantly, Jesus speaks truth and love and peace.

If you want to know more about resurrection, mediate on these stories.