Seeing Jesus through our tears: an Easter Sunday reflection from John
Listening to the service this morning. Triumphal songs of the resurrection of Jesus. Messages scrolling up the screen- ‘He is risen!’; ‘Hallelujah!’; ‘He is risen indeed.’ I thought of some of the folk who might be listening whose faith was wavering, who were not able with integrity to take these great Easter declarations on their lips. And I thought too of those whose minds said ‘Yes!’ but whose hearts were as dark as a sealed tomb.
Jesus’ followers that Easter Sunday morning were broken people, devastated by the loss of the one to whom they had entrusted their futures. It was to broken people that the risen Jesus appeared. It might have seemed in that flurry of Hallelujahs that we are people of great faith, that we have it all together. But no, we are all broken to some degree or other; we have all as Christian people tasted, sensed something of the richness and wholeness which Jesus brings, but we long for more.
And so that’s what I want to say: It’s OK to be real, it’s OK to be broken, it’s OK not to pretend. Because the spirit of Jesus seeks us out in our brokenness, and it is through our tears that we see him.
Perhaps we are standing beside the tomb of our own faith, the faith we once had. The stone seems resolutely in place. We grapple to roll it away. And then we hear a voice behind us, and it calls us by name, and says ‘My daughter, my son, don’t you understand that though you feel I am far away, I am present in your very longing for me?’
May each of us today – whether our hearts are singing hallelujahs, or are burdened by doubt, sadness, fear and the sense of divine absence- feel a sense that the Christ is with us. It may simply be the lightest of inner touches, inner surges of energy – perhaps even as you read these words – a touch from the one who does not break the bruised reed, whose breath brings hope and releases our tears.