The busy Easter weekend is over and my thoughts reflect back on the moments and what’s near to my heart.
I’m involved in the kid’s ministry at our church and those kids are some of my favorite people. I love their questions, insights and take on how they see things. They often speak the truth without even knowing it.
Our lesson for Sunday was, of course, the Resurrection. I shared the story of Mary going to Jesus’ tomb and how He wasn’t there anymore.
I thought to myself about how sad and worn Mary must have been. The week would have been a roller coaster of emotions ending with Jesus, her friend and teacher, beaten and crucified right in front of her. All she wanted to do now was grieve, cry and process. She was worn from pain and loss.
I shared with the kids how Mary headed to the tomb that morning but when she arrived His body was gone… stolen… disappeared.
As she sat there in tears with her grief pouring out, a man behind her asked, “Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
With one more desperate attempt to find information Mary asked the stranger, “Do you know where they have taken him?”
And he replied back to her, “Mary.”
I imagine it’s how in the days before caller-id, we would answer the phone in trepidation with the real question of, “Hello?” We really didn’t know who was on the other end until that familiar voice of the one we loved said our name.
I imagine it was in that soft-spoken, caring way in which He said her name that drew her in. It’s how when we are hurting and those dearest to us can just say our name and we know they care. Those are the ones who know us well. They understand and are with us in our hurt and grief.
I was thinking about all this when sharing the story with the kids and thinking how personal our Jesus is. How intimate He is in our lives.
I went on sharing how when we let Jesus lead our lives we grow in our faith and one day we will be in heaven with Him.
A young girl in the front raised her hand,
“Pastor Rachel, do you think when we get to heaven we can see Jesus? Not just from far away but really see Him… like to touch Him and see Him up close?”
“Yes, I do. I think you will be able to sit right with Him and talk with Him about anything.”
“Oh, that would be scary!!!”
“Why would that be scary?”
“Because I am really shy around people I don’t know. I only talk a lot with people I know.”
“But, sweetheart, that’s what’s perfect about this… we can know Jesus now and we can talk with Jesus all the time now. We can tell Him anything and everything. He always listens and He loves us. He’s not scary. In fact, just like Jesus spoke Mary’s name and she knew immediately who He was. When you get to heaven He’ll say your name and you’ll know immediately all the love He has for you and you won’t be scared at all.”
And that’s Truth.
We can know Him now.
- In our worn out, weary lives, He calls our name.
- When we feel we can’t carry anymore and the weight is too heavy, He whispers our name.
He longs for us to talk with Him. He’s a friend who knows all the intimate details of our lives and still He loves us. He’s not far or hidden from us but He’s near.
He calls your name today because He’s right here.