I wonder if you have ever been on holiday or visiting a place far from home and you bump into someone you know? For a few moments you can’t quite believe they’re there; “what a coincidence” we might say. That meeting someone unexpected can be a really good and fun experience. However once when in Llandudno I met a woman on the promenade, we both smiled and said hello and we got talking as we both recognised each other. Eventually I had to admit to not remembering where we had met before and so we began to explore how we knew each other. After fifteen minutes we came to the conclusion we had never ever actually met but we just thought we had!
There are many pictures painted depicting Mary Magdalene in the garden after Jesus’ death, having found his body missing. The pictures usually show her turning to look at Jesus when he calls her by name. Unexpectedly, incredibly, unbelievably, Jesus was there, and she recognised him: the person she thought had gone forever was standing by her side. Her life was transformed the moment the risen Christ called her by name – and then he sent her to tell this good news to the others.
Lent, Holy Week and Good Friday helped us to enter into the events that led up to the most incredible miracle when Jesus rose from the dead, and just as Mary and the others saw Jesus with them, so the risen Christ is with us today. But the God of surprises still surprises us and we find ourselves meeting with Christ in unexpected, incredible and at times unbelievable places – if only we can recognise him!
We are challenged to meet Christ every day in the people we meet and the situations we see and hear about, and just as Mary recognised Jesus as he called her by name, our God who knows each of us, calls us to love and serve in his name and to tell the good news of his love today.
The Cross of Good Friday enabled God’s love to pour into our world; the joy of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday released it so all could and can still know that love for themselves.
Thank you Jesus that you call us by name.
May we recognise you in those around us
and the situations we find ourselves in.
Thank you that when we reach rock bottom, as Mary did,
you are the rock we not only find but can rebuild our lives on.
You can download this Prayer for the Week here.
Prayers for April written by Denise Creed.
Image: Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus Christ in Gethsemane, designed by Rowan and Irene LeCompte.
One of a series of mosaics in the Resurrection Chapel of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.