Easter: While it was Still dark

  1. I sit here today on this Easter Sunday; this Resurrection Sunday, full of joy and wonder at what God has done in raising Jesus Christ from the dead! Trampling over death by death to bring us life to life!
    While it was still dark, Mary went to the tomb. She went to tend a corpse. She went to the cemetery to find a dead body. A corpse to tend. But oh, she found something so different!
    In this path I have chosen as Pastor I sit alone on this Sunday afternoon. My sons far away and no family really close by. No Easter dinner to cook or share. Mind you, I don’t ask for pity. I am an INFP on the Myers-Briggs, and so I need time; time alone to reflect and recoup after this busy and blessed Holy Season.
    I sit and contemplate that ‘while it was still dark,’ Mary went to the tomb that morning. While it is still dark we still search for the risen Christ.
    And it is dark; it is very dark. Bombs fly and mothers cry. The poor are neglected, widows and orphans forsaken, the alien hated and maligned. We mingle our faith with our nationalism. We cheer as bombs drop and I wonder if it is any different from the crowds that begin on Palm Sunday crying. “Hosanna” (save us Jesus!) to the crowds on Friday crying “Crucify! Crucify!”
    Oh, we are very wise in 2017. We know that we must answer hate with hate and aggression with aggression. We know that we cannot let beggars and lepers into the Holy of Holies. Or foreigners into our midst. We believe that our voice is truly a voice for justice.
    But when does that voice turn into violence? When does that voice become our desire for power and not justice?
    I cling, not just to the cross, but to the electrified, illuminated Jesus who is The Light that was spoken over the darkness of chaos in the Genesis of our being. The Light who is the Life and in whom darkness has no sway or say.
    But I am like Mary. I am stumbling in the dark and I can’t imagine a good ending to this. But like Mary, even through my tears and sorrow I am bending and looking into the darkness of that tomb and hoping beyond hope that there is something! Something that I could not even imagine!
    And I know that when He speaks my name, I will recognize him. It will be like he places fingers beneath my chin and raises my face to His to see the love in His eyes. The offer of forgiveness for my doubt and hope for my despair.
    So may you hear Jesus in the stillness of this and every day. May you hear Him call your name. In every moment when it is still dark. May you find courage to bend and look into the tomb that should hold nothing but darkness, defeat, and despair. And may you see angels! And light; unimaginable light! The Light of Life! And may you find courage to go and tell. No matter how foolish you may sound. And no matter what others may say. Christ is Risen!