Bible Study · Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Easter · Felixstowe · Growing in God · Sermon

While it was Still Dark

hi While it was Still Dark

Words for an Easter Dawn  – 12 April 2020 – Parish of Felixstowe

A Cyber Sermon from the Vicarage

Text:

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb

(John 20v1) 

and

The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter day gave his followers new hope…
We know that Coronavirus will not overcome us.
As dark as death can be…light and life are greater.’
(HM Queen Elizabeth II – Easter Eve 2020)

oooOOOooo

 

while it was still dark wallpaper

 

It was still dark
A welcoming shadow wherein scattered disciples, racked by emptiness and fear, could hide and weep.

It was still dark
When women gathered the remnants of their grief and went to weep one more time over the body of the One who had given them life.

It was still dark
While they searched for scraps of cloth and perfume and the myrrh from a long ago visit of Wise Men to a stable in Bethlehem

It was still dark
As they stumbled toward a tomb hoping to tend a death and found only emptiness.

It was still dark
As they faced the glare of Roman soldiers, always leering, watching to see that the stone stay in place.

It was still dark
When grief added to grief addled their sight and they could not discern the light that is the life of all.

It was still dark
When a child coughed and the elderly died in a far-off place that all now fear.

It was still dark
As death gripped nation after nation and leaders proclaimed that this curse belonged to others.

It was still dark
When thousands were entombed, mourned yet untended, no eulogy heard save that of their name.

It was still dark
As golden Easter vestments lay unworn and we find ourselves still in our Lenten array.

It was still dark
As we longed to creep into cold empty churches, set the first fire ablaze, proclaim Exsultet, and light our lights from The Light.

Yet in the darkness
On an Easter dawn words from a Christmas midnight ring clear.
‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it’

…and in the darkness
Softly,
Haltingly,
The Children of God breathed,
Hallelujah!

 

 

 [This blog ‘While it was Still Dark’ is copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2020 and may be reproduced without charge on condition that the source is acknowledged]

 

John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.

11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ 14When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ 16Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

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