Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her. It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. (John 20:11-20, CEB)
We all give Mary a hard time, or at least I have heard it asked, why didn’t Mary know Jesus?
Have you ever been so filled with grief that you couldn’t remember things?
Have you ever lost a dear family member and didn’t know how you were going to get out of bed or face the day?
Grief is powerful. Mary was overcome with grief. The person she loved who she had spent every waking day with for the past years was brutally killed by the Romans. She was overcome by grief. And through that cloud and not expecting to see Jesus alive she didn’t know who he was. Until he spoke her name.
I can imagine the moment. Probably a lot like the moment I saw my oldest daughter after she was brought home after she ran away. I wasn’t sure I would see her, hear her, or hold her again. The moment I wrapped my arms around her was sweet. And when Mary heard her name roll off the tongue of Jesus, her grief moved over and her mind said, wait a minute, that is Jesus!
When God speaks your name you can feel the love.
When God speaks your name you know you are loved.
When God speaks your name everything may not be right, but you know you are not alone.
Loving People. Loving God.