Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. John 20:1
Imagine the scene. There is a deep calm all around. It’s early, the day hardly started. The turbulent events of Holy Week have passed. I recall my own childhood when Sunday was a day of rest, and the quiet so loud you could almost hear it.
Mary makes her way to Jesus’ tomb to pay her respects. She pauses, shocked at what greets her. Jesus’ tomb disturbed with the stone sealing its entrance rolled away. Her quiet contemplation is shattered at the thought that someone has stolen Jesus’ body. Her stillness turns to anguished concern and she runs off in search of the disciples.
Mary’s humanity reflects our own. Our instinct is usually to fear the worst. A family member is late home and we assume a traffic accident or worse. I often ask myself why it is that we fear the worst rather than believe for the best? It appears that no matter how much we listen to God, the challenge is in recalling God’s Word in each specific situation. Jesus carefully taught His followers about His death and resurrection. Yet, whilst they had heard His words they’d failed to understand their meaning. Listening to learn so that we might live the Christian life lies at the heart of our spiritual formation.
When we can’t make sense of something, it’s easier to doubt, even deny, what we don’t understand. Understanding actually means to ‘stand among’. We must choose if we believe through the lens of logic or intellect or our conviction that God’s word is true. This then demands learning to live by sightless faith as surely as a blind person relies upon their guide dog. To stand among God’s Word and God’s people.
Something to Consider: Mary feared the worst. What fears and anxieties do you confront at present?
An Action to Take: Fear and anxiety rob us of our peace. Identify someone you trust who you are able to share your anxieties with. They may not have the answer, but they can listen to you, perhaps pray with you. A problem shared eases the weight we carry.
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, thank You that You rose from the dead, and are alive today and forever.’
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
Photo by Thomas Kinto on Unsplash
Used with Permission