John 12:21 “Some Greeks…. Paid a visit to Philip… They said, sir we want to
On Easter Monday this week I felt curiously flat. It was not an exhausted flat but more of a let-down, it’s over, kind of flat. (It was possibly not helped by our son crashing his car the evening before! – no one was hurt). I was surprised because it was a little like coming home from camps in the past and experiencing the absence of people and excitement and community (yes, I am an extrovert) and feeling the let-down of returning to normal life. But this week I hadn’t been to camp and on the surface the weekend was nothing extraordinary except for a few days off for most people.
As I reflected, I considered, is it Easter itself that gives us this mountain top experience? As we journey through lent and reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross, as we participate in that in whatever way, with reflections, readings, self-denial, the historic preparation for baptism, ultimately this all leads us towards Easter Sunday to the cry of He is risen!
So then why is there a let-down? Because He is risen on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday as well. Is it because the desire that we have for God is in some way experienced as absence. Even as the disciples wrestled with the reality that Jesus was dead, they were confronted with the resurrection, which was hope and absence, but absence transformed.
We struggle to grasp the resurrection just as the disciples did. We want to enter into it but we can’t fully while we live out our lives on earth. And so we experience longing and desire for something that we are unable to fully grasp or understand. When we experience the closeness and beauty of God we are also reminded of the distance and longing we have for him.
We see this played out in our most ideal relationships or experiences. The most perfect wedding, or piece of music, or a beautiful landscape creates in us a longing for this state to continue forever, even while recognising the reality of arguments and ending and possible destruction.
We hold this paradox while we live because we say with the Greeks, “we want to meet Jesus” while we also say with the joy of Mary Magdalene “I have seen the lord” John 20:18