On Easter morning, Mary Magdalene did not recognize Jesus, who was standing there in her midst and talking to her. Seven of the male disciples did not recognize Jesus when he stood on the lakeshore and had a conversation with them. Throughout history, church leaders have failed to recognize Jesus as he appeared over time. And today there are times when we too do not recognize Jesus as he shows up in our midst. One reason is because Jesus shows up in so many different ways, and we all have our preferred ways. I’m guessing most of us also can think of ways that we would rather Jesus not show up—for most instances of divine presence and direction tend to be inconvenient, to say the least, and possibly even disorienting or causing us to live our lives in a completely different way!
One thing I am pretty confident about is that Jesus always shows up in love: love for me and love for you, love for family and friends, love for strangers and enemies, love for those who make important policy decisions and those on the margins of society. My prayer for you is that you would be open for any way that Jesus shows up in your life and in the world, so that you will both recognize Jesus and joyfully serve him!
Aloha nui loa!
Kahu Alan Akana