A few thoughts… composed in love and for love.
"They asked Mary, 'Woman, why are you crying?' 'They have taken my Lord away,' she said, 'and I don’t know where they have put him.' At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus." - John 20:13-14
Mary was weeping because the one she loved was nowhere to be found.
Then, Jesus appeared, and she didn’t recognize him.
In much of contemporary Christianity, amidst candles and electric guitars, pews and padded seats, even though we invoke his name in silent prayer and enthusiastic worship, we seldom catch a glimpse of the humble preacher from Nazareth.
We profess him as Lord but frequently position his throne alongside that of empire, militarism, unrestrained capitalism, and consumerism.
We proclaim him as Lord but don’t listen and obey. We sing the songs, we light the candles, but too often, in too many places, we fail to look and love like Jesus.
A lost and broken world asks, "Where is Jesus?"
Jesus was a radical revolutionary, a wild messiah, announcing and bringing about the imminent reign and rule of God. He challenged economic injustice, welcomed the weak, practiced non-violence, healed the sick, and lived a life of self-giving sacrificial love.
He loved the poor and called them blessed.
The religious and economic elite despised him, wishing him dead because he came to disrupt business as usual with his upside-down kingdom.
In a world heading further into climate breakdown,
where is Jesus?
Alan Hirsch writes, "We have sanitized and tamed Jesus by encasing him in abstract theology, and in doing so, we have removed our motivation for discipleship. When Jesus is just the true light of true light and not flesh and blood, we are only ever called to adore him, not follow him."
Perhaps, like myself, you have heard the revolutionary whisper of the Messiah saying 'Follow me.' Perhaps, the Spirit of Jesus is bidding you to renounce the idols of our age and to enact and embrace the rule and reign of God.
Where is Jesus? He is with us.
Matthew 28:17–20 (ESV): And when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”