Surprise Visit

Unexpected And Unwelcome Guest At The Door?

“Better not go unless you check base with your family in Edmonton,” I warned Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan. Ed had already told Ruby his wife, that they were going to Edmonton for Easter. My old neighbor was looking forward to surprising his family there. I suggested that showing up at his children’s door, without advanced notice, could backfire as they may not be home. “They won’t be away all weekend,” Ed scoffed.

Ed was convinced that he and Ruby would be welcome and that their family would be glad to have them visit for Easter. I hope it happens that way. Some folks are so gracious and relaxed about unexpected guests. Some people get anxious and disturbed by family and friends that show up at their door. They act like the unexpected guest is as welcome as, ‘Crazy Mary from Londonderry who lives next door to the cemetery.’

It sounds as if, Ed’s family can welcome and receive whoever shows up at their door without warning. Indeed, there are times when we can be too upset to greet company. Like the disciples on the third day after Jesus’ death and his tomb was found empty by the women. They were confused that the dead body of Jesus was gone from his grave. The women claimed that Jesus was alive from the dead, but the apostles considered that possibility as nonsense. They were sure that the dead do not come back to life and make themselves known to the living.

Two disciples traveling to Emmaus had encountered a stranger who they did not recognize as Jesus until he took bread with them. They like the other disciples were sure Jesus was dead but changed their minds knowing instead that Jesus was alive from the dead. They returned to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples that Jesus was alive.

As the two disciples told the others that they had seen Jesus alive, Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, “Peace to you!” He knew that he was unwelcome for the disciples were startled, frightened and thought Jesus must be a ghost. He knew they were troubled and full of doubts that it was truly him present. Jesus said to them, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

He knew they were still not wholly convinced, so he asked, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it before them. Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures that everything written about him in the Law, Prophets, and Psalms had to be fulfilled in him. He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

His disciples were the first witnesses of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. They were the first, but not the last, to confirm: “Jesus is alive! He has risen from the dead!”

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