I awoke to a subtly beautiful sunrise this morning, nothing flamboyant ~ simply beautiful! Just a few wispy, interesting clouds. Soft rose colored the horizon, emphasizing the profile of the craggy peaks of the northern Cascades ~ gentle color hovering in anticipation of the coming light. Among the peaks stands the Mountain in all her glory, already reflecting the beauty of the morning.
Cold crisp air filled my lungs. Birdsong surrounding me, I felt the rush of wings behind me and I was reminded of yesterday’s treat as I arrived home ~ a pheasant casually walked in front of me as I approached the driveway and slowly meandered its way under the snowball bush and under the rhodie and defied all my attempts to take its picture and then simply flew off, not to be found again after I called the boys to come out and help me.
I have only rarely seen wild pheasant, alive anyway, and this was my first here in the Pacific Northwest. Its vibrant colors and regal strut were stunning! Perhaps — just perhaps — it was a harbinger of hope, of the something more that the Way, the Truth, and the Life offers me ~ us ~ all of humanity, all of creation.
Last Resurrection Sunday I was in Northern Ireland with dear friends, preparing for my time in Iona. I knew even then there was a marking of a time of great change and transition for me ~ and this past year has certainly been just that! Today, this Resurrection Sunday, marks that change and transition in a different way ~ a continuation of what was begun then. I am going to be baptized today ~ in the company and presence of family — birth and chosen — of dear friends, in the local Body of Christ followers where I have for the first time in my life felt welcomed and embraced and actually celebrated for who I am.
Seen. I am loved.
I am accepted, received, and wanted in the midst of these beautifully broken brothers and sisters! That kind of LOVE is life changing!
So as I sit here contemplating what it might have felt like for Mary as she walked that path to the tomb of her beloved Jesus, still heavy of heart with the reality of His crucifixion, His death, and the reality of the sealed stone over the mouth of the tomb, I think of her desire to once again honor Him by properly preparing His body with her offering of fragrant spices ~ just as she had anointed Him with oil such a short time ago ~ before His betrayal and death.
Faithful she truly was, and yet, I wonder if she wasn’t also faith filled. In the depths of her heart, did hope remain ~ even a small nugget of hope ~ hope against all odds ~ that she just might arrive at the tomb and find her beloved Jesus alive?! Hadn’t He brought her brother back from the dead? Hadn’t she personally witnessed miracle after miracle ~ even miracles for herself?
Yes, I believe there was a seed of hope, buried deep in her heart, awaiting the warmth of the Son to call it forth to LIFE!!! And isn’t that just what she received that Sunday morning! I can hear response in my own heart ~ incredulous, trying to make sense of her discovery, her hope come to life ~ confirming and reconfirming the miraculous truth!
“Where have they taken His body?”
And then one simple word spoken…
She knew the truth! The seed sprung forth, already full of the bloom of life and faith and most of all, LOVE! Her beloved Master was alive!!! He proved Himself to be just who she knew Him to be ~ the Messiah, the Christ, the Eternal Son ~ the One who loved her to LIFE, to waking up to her true self, to purpose and to others… the others! They had to know, to be told! And so, as Jesus released her, she ran to tell them the Good News ~
He is alive!
He is no longer dead!
He has risen indeed ~ just as He said!!!
All that was old and broken has been made new!
This, too, is my proclamation today as I anticipate my baptism after this morning’s celebration with my family…
All that is of my former brokenness ~ asleepness ~ has been redeemed ~ made new with its purpose being revealed!!!
I am alive!
I am awake!
Come and see the One who has made it so!!!
I am caught up in the fullness of this Good News!
I am alive in the Christ’s aliveness ~ eternal, full, sacred, GOODNESS!!!