This morning, while it was still dark, we gathered in the garden at Rutba House to remember the story of that first Easter when the women discovered that Jesus wasn’t in the tomb.
“Jesus is risen,” the girls shouted, each in their turn, running across the garden to our little circle. With his new Union soldier hat (fresh from a spring break trip to Virginia), JaiMichael played the sleeping guard by the tomb. We all sang our favorite songs and read the story from Matthew’s gospel about how the earth shook when Jesus got up from the grave.
Then we read one of my favorite quotes from Clarence Jordan, the Baptist radical who helped start Koinonia Farm in 1942:
The resurrection of Jesus was simply God’s unwillingness to take our “no” for an answer. He raised Jesus, not as an invitation for us to come to heaven when we die, but as a declaration that he himself has now established permanent, eternal residence here on earth. He is standing beside us, strengthening us in this life. The good news of the resurrection of Jesus is not that we shall die and go home to be with him, but that he is risen and comes home with us, bringing all his hungry, naked, thirsty, sick prisoner brothers and sisters with him.
Here at Rutba House, we’ve found Jordan’s words to be true. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” Jesus said. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we often fail to recognize him at first. But then, in a moment, our eyes are opened. And we know him again in the breaking of the bread.Before we shared breakfast together this morning, we shared stories of how we’ve seen Jesus show up at our door. Since publishing Strangers at My Door, I’ve had the joy of sharing dozens of these stories at readings across the country. Every time I do, I get to hear others’ stories–stories of how Jesus came home to their house.
So this Easter I wanted to invite folks to share those stories here. You can write them in the comments section below. Or post a link to your blog. Then share them with the hashtag #strangersatmydoor.