You no doubt have noticed what happens when you drop a stone into a body of still water. Yes, the stone sinks to the bottom. But there’s more that happens. When the stone strikes the water, it sends out ripples in every direction. These concentric circles travel great distances, crashing into whatever they come into contact with.
The same thing happens with people. Each of us sends out concentric circles, impacting other people near and far.
And that is what the gospels report happens with Jesus after his resurrection. Jesus’ rising out of death on the third day was like a mighty rock dropped onto the surface of a lake, sending out wave after wave of circles. The risen Jesus appears now here, now there—to fearful disciples in a locked room, to two desolated friends walking on a road, and, in our main text for our worship for Sunday, April 26 (John 21:1-19), to his disciples who have gone back to their ordinary job of fishing.
Usually the people whom the risen Jesus impacts do not at first recognize him. It takes a while for their eyes to open. But then they recognize the stranger as the Jesus they knew before. And the risen Jesus talks with them, shares food with them, and teaches them.
Easter is concentric. The waves from Jesus’ rising keep on spreading out, impacting us in the course of our everyday routines and lives. The question is whether our eyes will be open to see him when the still-radiating impact of Easter strikes us.