Have you ever had "the scoop" on something. I mean, NOBODY, nobody else knew what you knew. Like when you are the first person in your set of friends to hear about an up and coming band. Or a new movie that's coming out next summer. Or a new restaurant that's coming in on Grape Rd. (yeah, like that's something new...) Or maybe you're the first person to tell your family that you and your spouse are expecting. That is one of the coolest feelings to be the first person to spill the beans. Of course it makes you seem hip and "with it". Here's the thing, though, that feeling seems to wear off. Yeah, only so much time can elapse before calling Coldplay an up and coming new band seems to be breaking news. And so we must search for the newest and hippest thing in order to ride the wave.
Since it was Easter yesterday, I was reading the account of the resurrection in John. The part that struck me most was about Mary Magdalene.
The Message translates this passage:
But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus' body had been laid. They said to her, "Woman, why do you weep?" "They took my Master," she said, "and I don't know where they put him." After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn't recognize him. Jesus spoke to her, "Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?" She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, "Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him."
Jesus said, "Mary."
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" meaning "Teacher!"
What struck me was Jesus' perspective. Can you imagine his excitement? I mean, he's just beaten the grave. He's just conquered sin and death! He's got the scoop on the BEST NEWS EVER!!! And now, here's his chance to tell the world "I'm BAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!!!!!" And what does Jesus say to trumpet his resurrection? With overflowing joy (like a parent on Christmas morning getting ready to see the kids open presents) he whispers, "Mary."
FLASH - THE LIGHT GOT TURNED ON FOR MARY. She now knew her Lord had indeed RISEN!
"Mary." So much was said in one word.
You could tack on:
"Mary, I rose for you."
"Mary, I rose for a common street hooker."
"Mary, I rose for the undesirables of society."
"Mary, I rose for women, the 'property' of that day."
"Mary, I rose for people like you who bless me with their sold-out worship." (the jar of nard)
"Mary, I rose for..."
And it continues.
In our context God celebrates each time a person has those "lightbulb" moments of awareness of Him. And so he has said in the past, says now in the present, and will say in the future our names, as we come into greater consciousness of our GREAT GOD! He repeats:
"(fill in your name here)."