This morning i was listening to the recent podcast by the fine chaps of the church of the wittertainment , hello to jason if thats an in-joke you’re aware of, in the recent podcast one of the presenters had to start the show before the other was in the studio, and so half way through a sentence Mark Kermode sort of interrupted and joined in. Ironically they then recalled an incident when Meryl streep appeared as a voice from a different room, but on the live show (they were expecting her, but delayed by press responsibilities) – she also then appeared randomly half way through a pre directed section.
As I reflected on these situations from a radio/media perspective – the not so drammatic, – but unexpected entrances, it took me to the situations described where Jesus ‘appears’ to the disciples – especially the post-resurrection ones which all have some unexpectedness about them. Yes they were unexpected because Jesus himself wasnt being sought for, but also his entrance itself was somewhat dramatic, revealing himself in his communication;
In John 21: Jesus stands on the beach as the disciples’ boat heads back with the empty nets – was he watching them all night long?
In Luke 24; the disciples are walking an in conversation when Jesus joins them in conversation, then they realise he is revealed in the conversation
Later on in Luke 24 as the disciples are talking about the incident above ; Jesus again appears “suddenly standing there amongst them” (Luke 24:36)
Post-resurrection- this Jesus has an uncanny knack of appearing in the midst of conversations, of entering the space and turning the conversation in a place where he is revealed and discovered.
His entrances communicate his being amongst them, maybe always being with them, but not knowing that he is there, and yet dramatically being revealed.
What might happen today if in our conversations with people they encountered a dramatic entrance of Jesus in the space. What if we respond to the Holy author in our midst? Might the space of conversation be a place narrated in Godliness? And if this is Jesus chosen method of revealing himself- why not the same now in the conversations we have between friends, spaces created where the empty place might be unexpectedly filled with an appearance of Jesus.
No sooner does Jesus enter – does he exit- leaving the disciples on the beach, and the road, and the room, the exit stage left followed by a bear moment. If Jesus can enter as he pleases- like the Aslan lion that cannot be tamed- then he must also leave, and leave us on our own to perform in the space without him. Note Jesus doesnt intervene, or interrupt, but interjects, waits to be welcomed.
Its as awesome that Jesus would enter unexpectedly, that he also leave us to act without him, trusting us in performing with the Spirit as guide. The divine entrances and exits of God in the ongoing drama of redemption.