Devotional Scripture: John 20:11-23
"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!" - John 20:16
"Jesus came among them and said, 'Peace be with you!" - John 20:19
There is an old saying many of us "over 50 types" learned a long time ago. It is said in many ways, but goes something like "waiting a while for something is almost always worth the effort."
In today's jargon, I believe the saying is . . . "Wait for it! Waaaaaiiiittttttt for it!"
Mary didn't go home like the Peter and John did. She stayed.
As a result . . . she is confronted by 2 angels who ask here why she is crying.
Nice to know that angels care, isn't it?
Then she turns and gets to see Jesus!
But something is wrong . . . something has changed . . . she doesn't recognize him until she hears his voice.
Because she waited . . . she saw the resurrected Jesus with her own eyes . . . and she believed. This was no rescusitation . . . no, this was a resurrection!
Then, forgetting any fear of being declared crazy, insane, she risks forever being labeled as "certifiable," . . . and obeys the instructions of her risen Savior and goes to announce all she has seen and heard and been told to Jesus' disciples!
Next, we read that the disciples did not go home after all. For some reason Thomas is not there with the group, but we don't why.
Eveyone else was afraid and in hiding. Perhaps Thomas was the one chosen to go get food, or perhaps he was sent out to try and find out the latest news in an effort to determine if the larger group was still safe from possible arrest, or worse . . . persecution.
We just don't know.
John and Peter are there . . . they didn't go home after all??
Did they turn around at some point on their journey? Or did they come back the next day?
Again, we just don't know.
But there they were . . . not waiting on Jesus necessarily (remember, they thought he was dead) . . . but probably waiting instead to be arrested together by the Temple Guard on trumped-up charges of some sort . . . or perhaps in fear of just not knowing what to do next now that their leader and teacher was "dead."
Then . . . Jesus is there . . . and blows their minds . . . and does a 180 on their world, their perceptions, their beliefs and their understandings . . . . and their lives!!!!
"Peace be with you!"
It wasn't until after he had showed them his hands and his sides that the disciples believed.
And . . . they were overjoyed!
Then, because they had waited and believed, Jesus gives them the gift of the Holy Spirit.
35 days ago, we started this journey to Lent.
35 days ago we started this task of road building . . . something that some of us have never tried to do or attempted before.
35 days . . . we have stayed with it. We've not quit. We've not gone back home.
We are still here!! And we are waiting!
5 more days, folks . . . a few more days to wait and work . . .
It will all be worth the effort!
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>