When I read this text, I shake my head and mutter, “Boys.” First, John outruns Peter in a footrace to the tomb (and mentions that fact twice). Then he hesitates. Peter catches up, and rushes in as he always does.
They find the tomb empty. That’s the news that gathers us early on Easter morning with trumpets, lilies, and “Alleluia” songs. Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed! But no joyful shouts of praise fill John and Peter that morning. The text says they believe, but what they believe isn’t clear. They might only believe what Mary told them: the body is gone. An empty grave proves nothing to them yet. So they go home. They go home! Once again, I’m shaking my head.
Each reading of Scripture offers new understanding, not because the text changes, but because we do. My father has recently died. In the days following, my family had much to process. Good support from family and friends surrounded us, held us up, and held us together. But I longed for home. Psychologists say that our bodies and minds “want to come home: that’s where energy is conserved for the marathon of life, where learning is consolidated, where resources are built rather than expended, and where pains and traumas are healed.” For me, home is not a physical place, but a spiritual one, that place of “quiet rest near to the heart of God.” At home, I start understanding what Jesus means by resurrection hope. I’m not shaking my head at the disciples anymore. At home, everything Jesus told them begins to make sense. His words “I am the resurrection and the life” become real.
“Having a Sense of Home,” Rick Hansen, Psychology Today <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-wise-brain/201812/having-sense-home>.
How do you know when you are home? When has Scripture come alive with new meaning for you?
God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home, may we find peace with you. Amen.