THE RISEN CHRIST AMONG US...
It was just a quick glimpse on Easter Sunday morning while I was preaching at the early service about the idle tale of the women witnesses to the Resurrection. It took my breath away, shook me to the core of my being, stunned and amazed me, made me look again, and all within a second of time - or a brief eternity of a moment that grabs hold of you and shouts, "notice!"
It was the appearance of the risen Christ sitting in a pew! Or so it looked like, and that's what took my breath away, stunned me for an instant, without losing my place in my sermon or preaching. I moved my eyes again to that side of the sanctuary, and this is what I saw that explained it all.
A mother with brown shoulder length hair sitting in the pew with her son on her lap. His thick curly dark brown head bowed and covering the lower portion of her face. What I initially saw was an image of Jesus - ok so it was typical depiction - long hair to the shoulder, and a beard. It looked like the risen Christ in that instant. I looked again to see if it was a visitor who had snuck in and slipped into the pew. But it was this mom and her son who at that precise moment when my eyes made contact with that
side of sanctuary, caught them just as her head was up and her son's was bowed - creating a blending of the two - into a man with a beard.
Of course, I had to look again and then, realized it was the two of them and their head positions by then had moved.
But for an instant, the risen Christ was sitting in the pew with us this Easter morning. The risen Christ and ever-living Lord among us and with us!What a marvelous image! It took my very breath away and yet, stayed with me all day.
Had I not prayed on the night drives home on Thursday and Friday that I missed my Lord, that if he would, remember me.
And there he appeared, Easter Sunday morning, sitting in the pew, with us and among us if just for the briefest of instances and the blending of a mother and her son.
Ahh, the images and symbolism are rife with meaning and glory, hope and joy, love and grace, death and life! And I was there to witness this, the only one in the crowd from my vantage point. I can't share it, people will think I'm weird, a bit off my rocker. But oh, how much it meant, how it grabbed me, scared me, delighted me, and gave me so much to ponder this Easter morning.
I finished preaching my sermon, served communion with a smile for this was the feast of victory, taught Sunday School class and lead another worship service preaching the same sermon without the added bonus of a glimpse of the risen Lord. But I knew he was there, with us and among us, sharing his life with us.