A Heavenly Gardener

John 20:11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

16 “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).

Recognition is a huge thing for us. I was talking with one of our other ministers about how difficult it is to recognize people with these Covid masks on. Those in attendance in our worship services usually wear their masks and they muffle their singing to where it is almost non-existent! Every once in a while I will see a raised eyebrow to show that they are smiling or frowning. It is difficult to know sometimes who I am talking to and who is talking to me. I want to raise their mask so I can identify them, But NO......

The following verses show us that we can sometime not identkfy Jesus right away, but He shows Himself through the Holy Spirit. Early on Sunday Morning Mary Magdalene went to the tomb where they had laid Jesus and found the stone rolled away. She went back and told Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and they ran to the tomb and found it was empty. So in verse 11 we pick up where Mary is outside the tomb crying because she thinks someone has taken the body of Jesus. Looking in the tomb she sees two white-robed angels, one at the head and the other at the feet of where the body of Jesus had been lying. In verse 14 Mary turns to leave and someone was standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize Him. Verse 15 tells us what Mary thought, "She thought He was the gardener." What happens next is pivotal. Jesus calls her by name, "Mary!" She immediately knows who He is and acknowledges He is Jesus.

Jesus didn't have a mask on, but He was in His ressurrected body. When someone calls out to me and we both have masks on I can usually identify them by their voice, even if I can't with their mask on. So our eyes may not recognize someone, but our ears make that eaiser. I continue to try to listen for the Lord's voice as He speaks to me through His Word and in my prayer life, even though a lost and dying world at times may mask His message.

Just remember, Jesus is here in the good times and bad and He is a very present help in times of trouble. Meet with Him all through the day and no matter what happens in our world Jesus is still here ministering and empowering. Also, unlike Covid, we are not trying to filter Jesus out of our lives, but we are opening our whole life to Him. He is waiting to spend time with you and has a great message of hope for every day.....No masks!! Easily recognizable!!

The Pilgrimage continues.....

David Warren

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