Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 16:1-4

When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. They had been saying to one another, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?' But when they looked they saw that the stone -- which was very big -- had already been rolled back.


And then what? What do you do when the stone has been rolled away?

I imagine the women were afraid and approached with great caution. They immediately knew something was amiss. Stones don’t move themselves. Were powerful people nearby? Is it safe? Should we return home and bring reinforcements for protection?

With quiet, hesitant steps they approach the tomb. Fear has replaced their grief and love. They do not know what has happened, what is going on.

Truer words cannot be spoken. They do not know, and it is a fearful thing. The power of God has touched this place and reordered the world.

They understood the world they had inhabited. The dead are dead, and large rocks don’t get up and get out of your way. Love brings grief, and obstacles in one’s path must be overcome, overpowered, or you just have to live with them.

That’s life. The way things are.

But the stone had been moved out of the way; the obstacle to their mission removed, and the world as they knew it was changed.

A new world had dawned. Oh, it was the same old world with grief and pain, longing and loss, a world with such exquisite beauty it makes you weep for joy at the wonder of being a human soul, only to cut you to the quick within a moment.

All this remained, but the rules had changed. Death was no longer the end. The heavy stones that crush life and get in the way of living had been rolled away by a power human minds cannot grasp, a power that is much love as force.

The women did not grasp this for a long time, if they ever fully did. Maybe no one ever does in this life.

They were afraid. The order of existence had been changed, and it was not clear what had come or what was happening.

The question for them, for all, is whether they were willing to walk into that future, walk into the empty tomb and beyond it to see what the love of a death killing God might do … with them.

They did, and because they did the flame of an eternal, deathless love burns … in me.

Pr. David L. Miller

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