Last weekend, my husband and I did some antique shopping. I, at least, was looking for potential birthday presents. He said if I found something that just leaped out at me, that he might buy it. In January I had just that sort of experience, when I spied an Art Deco teapot (all orange and black); the same thing might happen again!
We were looking on all of the shelves and through the old books and in the glass cabinets. There were many things that I was mildly interested in, but nothing really grabbed me. Then my husband called me over to one of those locked glass cabinets, where there was a beautiful shiny teapot (or maybe a coffeepot) with a rainbow of colors on it. Beside it was a creamer and sugar bowl, and a few tiny cups. The information we could get through the cabinet was that the set was Chinese, and the price tag was beyond our means. So my husband took a picture, but we went home without it.
Once home, we went on the internet to try to find out more about this piece of pottery. We didn't find a lot of information, and what we found was not conclusive. It was possible that this could be a reallly old Japanese tea set, very collectible, but it was also possible that it was a reproduction, as there were reproductions of this style all over the world. How would we know whether this was "the geniune article" or not? Was this beautiful piece really valuable, or was it just a lot of glitter, something shiny but not substantial? That is the question.
It seems to me, at this Easter time, in the midst of all of the glittery and impressive stories of Jesus' resurrection, that this is the question for us as well. And in fact, this was the question for the disciples as well. It was amazing to see him again. They were wondering and disbelieving and afraid and joyful, all at the same time. But was he the real thing? Or was his appearance just something shiny and not substantial? That's the question.