April 9, 2023: Unbelievable but True!

cross with white cloth draped over

Resurrection of Our Lord

Unbelievable but True!

In John 20:1–18, there is recorded the encounter of Mary Magdalene with the risen Lord. It brings to mind an experience I had that affirms my belief in a resurrected Lord.

In the year 2001 or thereabouts, my wife and I were planning a trip from Brooklyn, New York, to Downey, California, for a pastors’ meeting. I thought that it was a great opportunity to reconnect with an old friend whom I had seen only once in decades. The problem was that it would mean a long drive for him to get to Downey, and then I would have little time to talk with him, because I would be engaged in the meeting. Should I let him know of my proposed trip, or should I just let it be? I agonized over the matter for days and nights and then decided not to call him.

My wife and I changed planes in Phoenix, and while flying over the Arizona desert I heard my name called: “George?” I could not believe my ears. The call was repeated: “George!” I twisted in my seat, and there he was in the flesh, seated in the row right behind me with his wife—the friend I wanted to see. It was unbelievable but true. What a miracle!

If I could hear my name called and see my friend in the flesh in such unbelievable circumstances, who am I to doubt that Mary heard her name called and saw the resurrected Jesus? The experience I had bolsters my faith!

I am asking everyone to take note of the experiences they have that bolster the gospel witness and enable one to affirm one’s faith. May we each be able to proclaim with confidence, “The Lord is risen indeed!”

George Richmond, Moravian pastor serving Bethany Lutheran Church
Palmyra, New Jersey