If you could be the proverbial “fly on the wall,” what biblical event would you most like to witness?
I realize some of you don’t accept the Bible in the first place. But if you do believe it, what scene would you love to see unfold before your eyes?
I imagine most people would go the Cecil B. DeMille route. They would choose something spectacular, such as the Israelites passing through the Red Sea, Noah’s ark riding out the Flood or Daniel remaining faithful in the lions’ den.
Me? I would love to see the early-morning encounter between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene on Resurrection Sunday.
I can think of lots of words to describe the mood of Mary Magdalene and the other friends/followers of Jesus immediately following his arrest, mock trial and crucifixion: blindsided, dejected, disillusioned, heartbroken, anxious, fearful, rudderless. …
Two days after the crucifixion, when Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb, it was not yet the symbol of hope that has inspired millions of Easter sermons throughout the centuries. The rock rolled away from the tomb left her confused and distraught. She implored the man whom she mistook for the gardener to tell her where her beloved teacher’s body had been relocated.
The “gardener” — in an action reminiscent of the Almighty God speaking to the prophet Elijah in a “still small voice” — needed to utter only one word: “Mary.”
Lost pets may wander home after 10 years. Loved ones feared drowned at sea may find refuge on a remote island before achieving contact with civilization. But has there ever been such a transcendent moment in human history as the “late” Jesus of Nazareth revealing Himself to one of his inner circle?
Suddenly, Mary Magdalene’s earlier negative emotions gave way to relief, elation, comfort, joy and unprecedented zeal.
Is there a Mary Magdalene in your life — someone who needs a little unexpected reassurance and inspiration?
Perhaps there is a friend, relative or business partner whom you haven’t spoken to in years because of some long-forgotten disagreement. True, some relationships are beyond repair; but you never know the emotional impact of an olive branch until you try. You may find yourself lifting a dark cloud and making up for lost time.
Are your children or grandchildren enablers of bullies? Instead of letting them cheer the bullies or give tacit approval of the bullies, nudge them to show support for the underdog. Encourage them to defend the new kid in town, the weird kid, the sissy kid. It could be life-changing for an entire classroom.
Are there shut-ins on your street (or in the local nursing home) who face long, dreary days because of physical impairment and the fact that their children live thousands of miles away? Drop in for a chat. Offer to do some chores. Let them know they matter.
Human beings do not have to be rudderless, purposeless and hopeless. They do not have to live lives of quiet desperation — if someone cares enough to give them a sense of self-worth and brighter tomorrows.
Whether you embrace the Gospel or consider it a fairy tale, the possibilities for uplifting, “out-of-the-blue” attitude adjustments are endless.
Whether you cherish the cross of Calvary or not, you can still be the cavalry riding to the rescue of fellow humans who have given up hope.