He is Risen!
His beginnings were humble. His end seemingly a humiliation. The story of Jesus’ beginnings like his life is clearly a narrative of paradox and reversal. For those who first touched Jesus, the very ordinariness into which he comes admits Yahweh’s extraordinary new deed into their midst, into a world waiting for Yahweh to keep his promise to them.
They were those who hoped for what could not be seen, only envisioned, dreamed of, the restoration of Israel – standing in the empty temple of Yahweh, in the gracious space of his presence, open, where promise is the only adornment, and age-weary prayers an incense rising, carrying their hopes to the unseen God. Silent for generations, then breaking open the laws of nature to grace and giving the world his only begotten, a small hope vested with great promise.
Only by God’s spirit moving upon the body of the earth, bringing substance from the void, a child from the womb of a virgin, the cross become an alter, life from the tomb, an empty manger once more. A soldier stands beneath him and looks up. He blesses the son of God and another advent begins. Waiting for the Lord to come again – a small hope grown in a life time, experienced, followed, loved, blessed with a woman’s life, a life of joy and sorrow that followed him from the moment of his conception until he stood in another garden, where once buried like the myth of Eve, searching now not for knowledge but for love. And he stood beside her and beckoned her to rise. As Elizabeth rose up to greet Mary – women bearing the Christ to one another – he bore himself to this other Mary who would bear witness to his return – come back to a woman as he had originated by the power of the spirit from his mother’s womb, leaving the world an empty manger where with each season we await the improbably advent of his return.
And he went before them into Galilee…to his mother.