“Go quickly now and tell his disciples, He has been raised from death, and now he is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him!” (Matthew 28:7a)
I stepped off the school bus, as it pulled just off the main highway along the side road that led to my home and family farm. It was a typical March day in Saskatchewan - bitting cold and clear. Ice and snow stretched across the frozen stubble field as the wind whipped around me. Saskatchewan is a beautiful place, but harsh and bitter in the deep winter and early spring. A sharp wind was beginning to blow painfully through my toque and into my left ear. I hunched down deeply into my coat and struck out beside the open field towards home.
A few minutes later the wind strengthened. It began to snow, and soon I was completely lost in the milky whiteness, wondering if I was pointed towards home or towards the barren field adjacent to the farm.
I stopped for a while unsure what to do. I could not go back, nor forward. Then I realized that if I kept the wind in my left ear I would be safe, if the wind had not changed direction. Nervously, reluctantly, I carried forward, praying that I could trust in the wind and in the discomfort in my ear. After what seemed a very long time, I came to the barn. I caught my breath and warmed up briefly in the barn before setting off the remaining stretch to our family home.
I arrived safely. The warmth of the coal burning stove, and the oil burning heater, seeped into my very being. How wonderful to be home. To be warm. To be safe. To be, once again, among those whom I loved.
In the Gospel, the women go to the tomb to confront their pain and mourning. In their love of Jesus, they must endure that wilderness of loss where they cannot see for their tears. By trust that endures the wilderness, they find the safety and joy of coming home into Christ’s risen presence.
Curiously, the disciples who stay away must wait for another time to come home, in Galilee. Then, they too will know what joy may yet come out of suffering, but not until later.
If we seek only comfort, trying to keep the winds of God from blowing in our midst and away from our ears, we may become lost and never find our way home. By listening, even when it causes pain; by seeking to contend with the direction of the wind, even when it is uncomfortable, we can begin to move forward to the astounding joy that says “Christ is risen indeed!” The Spirit of God, who is indeed, the ‘rush of the wind’ calls to each of us this day.
May you and your family experience the magnificent joy of the Risen Christ this Easter Season!
Jesus Christ is risen, indeed. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!