Look at the picture – a Costa coffee cup, to be found on Crow Road, on the periphery of the garage. You all know my opinions about cof-fee: the good, an espresso that gives you a buzz preferably sitting al fresco on a street in Italy; the bad, if I am honest – church coffee – but don’t worry, as I have intimated, because of Robyn there is something nicer to drink!!
Coffee – a strange topic to mention on Easter Sunday.
Whilst I do not have shares in Costa, or the Londis Garage either, I want you to look at the picture again. Cleverly, I have missed out the price of petrol. However, written on the large cup are the words ‘pick me up here’.
After the Sabbath was over, the women headed towards the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. As we know from our Holy Week theme ‘Sticks and Stones’, the rolling stone had been rolled away and on the entering of the tomb, a young man, an angel perhaps, told the women that Jesus was not there. He said, ‘He is not here – he has been raised… now go and give this message to his disciples, includ-ing Peter. He is going to Galilee ahead of you, there you will see him, just as he told you.’
Now, we could comment on the fact that the women were actually disciples too – in fact more than the disciples who fled the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane.
We could comment on the fact that Peter was singled out. Why? Perhaps because he promised so much and denied so quickly.
But I want you today to think of the angel’s words ’… he is going ahead of you…’
Easter Sunday has arrived and I want you to hold that little phrase in your mind.
When you are tired and in need of a boost, caffeine is sometimes the answer after a long shift, many hours on the go. It is a stimulant which nowadays you can find in many places. Like Costa Coffee, there are many ubiquitous establishments that are there to provide for you on your journey.
Here is what I am suggesting today – ‘you can pick me up here.’
As we travel through our days, when life is hard or busy, when you are sad and frustrated, if you listen, Jesus is saying to you ‘you can pick me up here.’ At a wedding, a baptism, and in the less obvious religious paths and places, if you look, ’you can pick me up here and there and there.’
In friends, families, church communities – ‘you can pick him up there’ because as Mark reminds us in his Gospel, Christ has gone ahead, not just of the disciples but of you and me also. He has gone ahead to prepare the way.
He has gone ahead, waiting for you to start a relationship with him: a new vibrant, fresh and exciting relationship.
In the most famous post-resurrection story, on the road to Emmaus, two men journey and whilst they are talking, Jesus joins them and picks up their conversation because they were distressed at what happened. In con-versation, in prayer, in silence – Christ waits to be picked up in your travelling.
‘You can pick me up here’ the message of a drink that lifts you up.
‘I can pick you up’ says a Saviour whose stimulation, buzz, eye-widening life can be yours, bringing a new awareness that actual-ly lasts! A woman thirsts and meets the Wa-ter of Life. Women and men travel from the bad to the good and find that their thirst is quenched.
Your friend and minister