Love is all around
John 20 :14
John 3 : 16
Darkness had fallen, and with it a silence over the city broken only by the barking of dogs and the occasional scuff of hurrying sandals. In the house the children went reluctantly to bed - it was time for adult conversation – but as Mary moved between the men to clear the plates, someone knocked at the door. A cautious knock, she thought. Low voices in the outer room made them all uneasy, and they exchanged glances till Peter emerged followed by, of all people, the Pharisee Nicodemus.
He had come to speak with the Master of course, but from their conversation, Mary had no idea why, or whether he found what he was looking for. He posed questions, and Jesus answered, but it was as though the Master was pre-occupied with particular ideas; thinking aloud rather than debating with his visitor. She saw the room fall quiet, other conversations stall, each head turn gradually to Jesus.
He paused, and looked round the room, studying the faces, “For God so loved the world,” he said, “that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. God did not send his son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”
As he spoke, Mary’s heartbeat throbbed in her ears; she caught her breath. ‘What does he mean ?’ she thought, ‘Is he ready to tell all Jerusalem who he is ? Shall I see the Messiah crowned king ?’
Her mind spun on as she poured the wine for them, catching his words in snatches. She felt elated, excited, at the centre of things. What had he said . . . everyone who believes in him will not perish . . . not condemn the world but save it ?
‘At last,’ she thought, ‘This amazing man who has changed my life, will change everyone’s lives. What will he do next ?’
John 20 :14
Mary glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognise him. “Why are you crying ?” Jesus asked her, “Who are you looking for ?”
She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
“Mary !” Jesus said.
She turned towards him and exclaimed, “Teacher !”
The Lord is risen ! He is risen indeed !
How easily we say the phrase, Lord, but how amazing its meaning !
Like a blaze of sunshine emerging from black clouds,
your resurrection restores colour to a mourning world :
a covenant rainbow across the sky.
I worship you, Lord, as you have defeated death and returned
to show me the proof of all your teaching.
Even when I falter and doubt, your words to Thomas come back to me, so
thank you Lord, for understanding human fears.
On this day of celebration, I pray for your family the Church
in all its diversity and variety. May each one of us reflect to a wider world
the joy of your resurrection and the reality of your Love in our lives.
In this world’s dark places may people be aware that your Love is all around.
written by Fiona Campbell