In what sense did Mary see the Lord? As she stood weeping outside the tomb she saw with her human eyes someone that she mistook for the gardener. We shall see as we go through the following weeks that the risen Jesus was not recognised by his outward appearance. Something else was necessary. Jesus was actually recognised and known in the observer’s spirit.
As Paul would say, “the Spirit witnesses with our spirit …” (Romans 8:16). Thus it was not until Mary Magdalene heard her name spoken by Jesus, ‘Mary’ (v.16), that she recognised him. It must have been something about his tone of voice, or the familiarity of the way he said her name that witnessed with her that despite the conflicting evidence of her eyes, it really was her Lord and Master – “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher) (v.16).
No unbeliever is recorded to have seen the risen Jesus.
They may have seen him with their eyes but not known him or who it was. Only believers were able to recognise him. Today he can still be known in our spirit.
Our other senses may be riddled with doubt or uncertainty, but deep within ourselves we KNOW it is the Lord.
The risen Christ may not appear to our five senses yet we can know his presence with us and in us. And yet he also comes to us in or through other people who have his Spirit. He is especially evident when his people meet together in his name – “… there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20).
Thank you Lord that you rose from the dead. Help me to see you today even when you come in unexpected ways. Grant me the faith to believe. Amen.
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) is taking place Sunday 27th April at 4.00pm. This meeting is open to all and will afford an enlightening backward view over the past year, and a forward look of hope for the year that lies ahead. Do come even if you have never come before. The meeting is also important because the churchwardens and PCC members are elected.
So far there has only been one nomination for the PCC and none for Deanery Synod! There are 8 places available for the PCC and 4 for Deanery Synod. May we therefore encourage people to sign up even now. Some of us have an aversion to committees, but the fact is that they are the medium through which the decisions of the church are made. If we leave it to others then we must also be prepared to live with their decisions. Service on the PCC is for a three year period and will give a fascinating insight to the inner machinations of St Mary’s. Why not offer yourself for election today?
Taunton’s Confirmation service is taking place this Thursday (1st May) at 7.00pm at St James’ church. We have many candidates from St Mary’s, both younger and older, and they would be delighted for the presence of any of our congregation who would go and support them.
This Holy Communion service will be in association with the Royal School of Church Music, with additional Taize-style music. We aim to provide an uplifting and peaceful communion service; an opportunity to step aside from this busy world – and also to demonstrate the simplicity, flexibility, versatility and inspiration of the Taizé style – candles and silence included!
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