I have seen the Lord


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?

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18 thoughts on “I have seen the Lord

  1. You say: “I have seen the Lord.”

    Ah, yes, but will you be believed?

    “Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.” [Mark 16:8-10]

    You say: “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.”

    I agree, beloved brother. Though it seems it takes one more element to secure a connection. An element often lacking among “lapel pin Christians” who never let their baptismal water get past the damp robe or touch their hearts. There’s one more element needed. The Disciples needed to offer it to Jesus before the Crucifixion. They ought to have offered it to the women after the Resurrection. I offer it to you here and now…

    You say: “I have seen the Lord.”

    I say: “I believe you. How glorious! Wow!”

    • Dear LM – your words remind me of “electricity” and a wonderful sermon: it’s only electricity when it flows. When it is not flowing it is “not” anything. Just like this God Stuff. If my on switch is off when we connect, nothing flows. And if I do not like your kind of electricity I may blow a fuse (sorry – could not resist that!). Thank you. As always you check the connections here and improve the wiring diagram.

      Here’s to allowing baptismal water to flow, as well as electricity, as well as togetherness and relationship. So we allow our wondrous God Love to be seen and to flow between us.

      • Ah, and I think, in your response, you just described the mechanics for an older question we once considered here.

        You said: “words remind me of “electricity” and a wonderful sermon: it’s only electricity when it flows. When it is not flowing it is “not” anything. Just like this God Stuff. If my on switch is off when we connect, nothing flows.”

        It echoed this question in my mind: “So, where does this lead when we are to ‘make disciples’?”

  2. People should not need more but today many do. Their so called faith requires proof. Which is completely opposite of the true meaning of faith!
    Those to whom it is enough are so blessed with grace and a divine knowledge that consumes them that they can do nothing BUT trust that to be enough. I wish we saw and knew more of that in our world. Dont you Paul?

  3. Yes, yes, and yes! Your words, your insight, your faith show me that you HAVE seen the Lord. You have looked, listened, learned, and lived. And oh how you love Him and His Word.

    These words of yours struck me: “The same connection. The same relationship. The same teacher. The greatest friend.” They speak of a knowing, not just a periphery acquaintance, but of a level of intimacy only achieved through reciprocity. In the midst of the give and take, the you and He, is the Father.

    Jesus spoke to Mary in simply decadent words of this bond: “my Father and your Father…my God and your God.” Only because of Jesus do we have the connection between “my” and “your”. Only because of Him do we have the signed adoption papers granting us acceptance into His family. Our family now.

    Each time I read your blog, Paul, I know you have seen the Lord, because I see Him in your words, His Word–the connection again, because of Him, because you have seen.

    • Oh yes! When he arrives in the batmobile he is real. When he does donuts, clanks the loom (and barks the occasional “NO”) when he guides and when he is such a presence always – he is real. No checking of the wounds needed.

      And oh yes – if not for Jesus then sacrifice, temples, all the paraphernalia still. And yes – WOW! The same connection. So many yes’s – so few reasons to argue. Yet there are those who do! No might is right, no might at all. Simply “me right you wrong”.

      The wonder as I type these words back – wow! Mary, the boys, the bible folk. the chaps and gals since then, you, me, all of us here, my children and grandchildren … each one at one through the same connection – the same intimacy.

      And we whine about “when we get to heaven” and point the finger at this lost world, and all that “oh woe is me” stuff. You have done it again! I am riding a wave of wonder!! Right here right now. WOW!

      (you ever get him smiling over your shoulder as you type?) 🙂

    • Wow! You have been cruising through the back pages! 🙂

      Returning here at you invitation … Reminds me how young children run. For no other reason than they do. With excitement. In the moment. And then “learn” to not run but to walk, to not make a scene, to not embarrass anyone.

      And that God Soft Hands Jesus is a God not of “not” but of can and will and excitement and fun and this moment. I have seen Jesus! Now ain’t that something!

      Thank you BJ, thank you 🙂

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