Scripture: 14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” 16 “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). 17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message. [John 20:14-18 NLT] It has only happened to me a couple of times, but both times it was pretty embarrassing. I had been going about my normal day and routine without even noticing. Yet the very thing that was supposed to prevent this sort of thing from happening was the source of my embarrassment. How could it be that this item could turn on me in such a way? As I realized what had happened I was left to ponder all of these things in my heart. The embarrassment came when a Bounce dryer sheet was clinging to my clothes even after I had folded the clothes, put them away, and put them on for the day. The dryer sheet was clinging to me and I had no idea. Of course, once I found out I truly was left wondering how many people had seen it and not said anything. Clinging to something usually shows affection for the object to which we are clinging. It means we do not want to let it go and we want to hang on to it tightly. A child clings to their blanket or favorite toy. A teenager clings to their cell phone. As adults we may cling to many things including our finances. Clinging to something means it is important to us. It denotes meaning that is drawn from the object of our affection. We don’t cling to things that are meaningless or unimportant. Instead we jettison them from our life and don’t give them another thought. When we cling to something we are making a statement of value. In our Scripture for today we read of the encounter the risen Christ has with Mary. She goes to the grave site to mourn her friend. While there Jesus appears and asks her why she is crying and who she is looking for. Then Jesus calls her by her name and she recognizes him. John then records Jesus as saying, “Don’t cling to me.” Why does Jesus say this? I have come to believe that Mary probably either threw her arms around Jesus, or tried to. I can only imagine the relief and excitement she would have felt over seeing Jesus alive! Because he is the most important part of her life, she tries to cling to him. It’s a statement of value and she is trying to cling to her savior and friend. Jesus tells her not to cling to him because he has not yet ascended. He is alive, but not yet where God the Father wants him to be. When he appears to his friends he reminds them of all they are called to do. He also reminds them that he will be going to be with the Father. This is important. Jesus wants us to cling to the resurrected, risen, and glorified Jesus. Jesus seated at the right hand of God the Father, He is ready to intercede on our behalf. We cling to the risen Jesus who interceded on our behalf. Today you may face some hardship, difficulty, or temptation. This is the best time to cling to Jesus. The resurrected and risen Jesus would encourage you to “Cling to me.” You can place all of your trust, all of your cares, all of your worries, all of your doubts, all of your fear in the risen Savior. Cling to Jesus today and He will be there all the way. This is the message Christ offered his disciples in John 15 when he told them to abide in Him. A branch clings to the vine and intertwines itself to the vine. This closeness will sustain you today. Cling to Jesus. Prayer: Holy God, what a gift you have given us in Jesus Christ, your only Son. There is nothing else we would rather cling to than Christ. Help us to cling to Christ in the moments we are tempted to rely on ourselves. Empower us through your Holy Spirit to follow you and stay close to you. Amen.