To our twenty-first century ears, “Greetings” sounds like something from a Victorian Easter card. The Message renders it, “Good morning!” That’s a little formal, too…. How about this? The Lord says to you, this day, “Hi, beloved!” (In St. John’s Gospel, He calls Mary by name. What name does He call you by? Your formal name? Your nickname?) What else does He say to you? (Only you know what you long to hear. Only He knows what He has to say.)
Our Lord is present, not absent. Sometimes circumstances make us wonder. The Easter proclamation is our perennial reminder, though: “Christ is risen, alleluia!” “He is risen indeed, alleluia!”
If I were a disciple who had met my Lord (who was dead, last I’d seen or heard), on that first Easter morning, would I have settled for hugging His feet? The disciples must have been awe-struck, to melt at His feet like that …. From my point of view, a bear hug would have been preferable!
“What a gift,” I think, “to see Him in person.” And yet, He told His friends at the Last Supper, “Be glad!” Why? After His departure the Holy Spirit would come. (Check out John 16:7.) We received the Holy Spirit in Holy Baptism. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13) That is the message the Lord delivers after He opens with, “Hi, beloved!”: the truth of our sin and the truth of His power and will to forgive. The truth of His love. The truth that death has been swallowed up in the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ! The truth that we are every bit as close to Him as those who walked with Him during His earthly life.
Pastor Mary Virginia Farnham