Sometimes I find I am drawn to the context of a verse, within a passage, within a chapter, within a place, within a time.
Other times I am drawn to a word or a phrase. Exclusive of context and setting. A word or a phrase carrying a truth. Timeless and beautiful. Timeless and challenging.
Some are of the bible, others a gift through another: “I do choose. Be clean” … “Jesus was indignant” … “It’s not about what I need is it?” … “Love is the answer, now what is the question?”
And today I have another: “I have seen the Lord.”
Spoken on the “third day”. So close to the taking Jesus for granted. So little time elapsed after walking with Jesus, eating with Jesus, talking with Jesus. Such a small gap in time. Such a huge chasm in faith.
And those words we all hold ever since that day, the ones as dear to us now as they were to Mary right then. Those words of wonder when we have indeed “seen the Lord.” For I am sitting here two thousand years later. Far away from that dusty place. Far away from that time and place. Totally connected. Totally plugged in.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:11-18
I have seen the Lord.
That burning branding claiming chaining Love Thing. I do not sit here reading dusty words. Do not sit here nit-picking over one translation compared to another. I am happy to read the original language polished with love by others. I am happy to share the thoughts of others over these words, the verses, these chapter and books. I do not need to agree with all. I must connect with all.
For when you say to me, as Mary did, that you have seen the Lord – I connect. And when you say to me, as we all do, that we have seen the Lord – we connect. And when we connect we transcend. We ascend. We send others the same wonder: “I have seen the Lord.” What a phrase of power that remains today and for ever.
And here is Mary – a few short hours after the flesh and blood of Jesus. And here is me – just two millenia and a smidgeon after Mary in exactly the same wonder. The same connection. The same relationship. The same teacher. The greatest friend.
I have seen the Lord.
And so have you. And so has he. And that little fella over there. All of us with our own wonder. Our own relationship. Our own God. Just as Jesus allowed that short two thousand years ago with Mary. Her relationship, her God. And for the twelve. Each with relationship, each their own God. As for the hundreds of that time. As for all who come after. As for me. As for you.
We have so much more in common that we have in difference. One at a time. Each in our own way. Just as He wants. Just as He works. Just as we should want. Just as we should work. Because we have seen the Lord!
Mary didn’t tell. Mary didn’t ology. Mary never demanded. What she had with her Lord was enough. And she ran as fast as she could to connect with others who could also say the same.
So just how fast do we run to each other … and what do we say if we do … and just what do we expect when we do? Shouldn’t “I have seen the Lord” be enough. Or do we need more today?