It is not an uncommon question. In fact, it even gets asked around here occasionally. Someone will be in the church building with a blank, “I’m lost” kind of look on her face and a staff member will stop and politely ask, “May I help you? Are you looking for someone?” Rarely, though, is the “lost” person crying. Merely lost. Or confused (if you can imagine someone being confused in this building!).
I suspect we’ve all had that experience of disorientation and distraction, of being in a new and confusing place, looking for some one or some thing only to find him or her or it difficult to locate. And in that moment, the question is a welcome question – “Are you looking for someone?” – because the question offers the possibility of direction and location. Someone else knows how to find what we need. All it requires of us is that we trust the questioner.
“Are you looking for someone?” In the Easter Gospel (John 20:11-18), the risen Christ asks it of Mary Magdalene this way: “Whom are you looking for?” She comes to the garden disoriented and distracted, looking for some one she cannot find. He is not where she expects him to be in the tomb. She discovers to her amazement and eternal joy that he is risen, offering her possibility and hope. She is reminded that Christ has what she needs and she is invited to trust in him again.
As we gather this Easter Sunday, we will all bring certain expectations with us. We may even be bringing some sense of disorientation and distraction. We may come looking for something. I invite you to come open – to possibility, to the presence of the risen Lord – and willing to find in him that which you need. Come and join us in the great “Alleluia,” hear again the good news that “The Lord is risen. He is risen indeed.”
And listen for the question “Whom are you looking for?” confident that he is himself the answer.
Grace and peace.