Journey to the Cross
In sadness or celebration — know and believe that you are loved by God.
Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).
Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.
Not everyone is good with names. Heck, I’m always messing up the names of my kids and generally, we laugh about it. I also know that each time someone calls them by the wrong name, uses an incorrect pronoun, or otherwise ignores the unique nature of their personhood, a piece of the spirit is pained.
Jesus reminds us of the importance of being called by name.
With one word, “Mary,” Jesus reminds us of the power of seeing someone for who they are. In that moment, Mary recognized him and was moved and compelled to tell the story.
There is power in calling someone by name. It’s a public acknowledgment of their unique personhood.
And there is joy in truly knowing the name of the Christ, for in knowing Christ, we can joyfully tell others this story of hope.
Easter Sunday is filled with grand gatherings, glorious pageants, and joyous worship. But in the midst of the events of the day, take the time to both call someone by name AND rejoice when someone does the same to you. In these gestures, Easter hope is known.
God, on this Easter Day, make your new life known in the minutia and the magnificent. Give me a heart that sees the uniqueness of others and the humility to let others see the humanity in me. In the whispers and shouts of our names, let us all know hope, joy, and new life this day. Amen.
Go forth into the world with justice and compassion in your heart.
Give voice to the silent.
Give strength to the weak.
Hear one another.
See one another.
Care for one another.
And love one another.
It’s all that easy.
And it’s all that hard.