Revd Rob Lamerton
23 March 2008,Easter
What's the point of Jesus Risen and roaming free in the world? If he is not also Risen in here (heart) and roaming free?
What is the objective reality of the Risen Lord — what actually happened?
What is the subjective reality of the Risen Lord — how does it connect with me?
We find it very difficult to say EXACTLY what happened because the details of the story differ with each account.
But we do see the disciples experiencing the Risen Lord as they participate in the things which were familiar and were common to them all.
In this gospel, apart from the two Mary's seeing Jesus, the next time he is seen is in Galilee.
In Mark's gospel there is no sighting of Jesus in the original version of the gospel and then a story about Mary Magdalene seeing Jesus as well as the disciples as they gathered.
In Luke's gospel there is the lovely story of how Jesus travelled with two disciples and became known in the breaking of the bread followed by an appearance to the gathered disciples.
In John's gospel there is an appearance to Mary in the garden one to the gathered disciples and one to Thomas then the appearance to Peter and the others by the lake.
It seems the Kird came to the disciples in the places and situations they had shared in his life:
and although Jesus was decidedly different — he was nevertheless REAL.
It seems the revisiting of familiar places and events profoundly moved the followers of Jesus and for them the Risen Lord was present. The Jesus they knew in life was profoundly present through his death and new life!
Interestingly, the gospels agree much more in their reporting of Jesus' arrest, trial and crucifixion because it was a murch more recordable, measurable, observable event. They very considerabley when it comes to the Resurrection because it is NOT measurable in the same way and its effects difficult to pin down but its meaning is profound.
Last week I spoke of the power of powerlessness — I guess I really meant the power of vulnerability, of risking our own dignity, of letting down our guard, of placing ourselves in places we don't want to be because we need to confront issues —— and we find that in putting ourselves there, in beginning to be more open, we don't necessarily suddnely take control, but we do begin a move, a fruitful journey, having confronted the situation!
I somehow think that the disciples met the Risen Lord when they opened themselves up to be vulnerable. Going to familiar meeting places, meeting together, going fishing, sharing bread and wine etc…
In the first story today, Peter, a Jewish follower of Jesus goes to the home of a Roman soldier — he makes himself vulnerable! and yet by putting himself in this position he is able to be the agent of God's blessing.
We are so trained to be in control, in command, and yet to be the servants Jesus calls us to be we need to become more vulnerable.
Yes! What is the point of the Risen Jesus roaming free
If we cannot meet him and let his risen presence roam free in ourselves…