And in despair.
Darkness was her time, her place.
She walked, under its cover, to find the body of her Lord – the night a reflection of her soul.
It had been a long week. A long, long Friday.
And late on that Friday afternoon – her beloved’s body had been given up to the grave far too soon – before it had been anointed – before she could touch his bruised skin with the tears of love and in doing so let his final earthly moments be those of an embrace.
No wonder on that Sunday – as soon as Sabbath had passed – and whilst darkness remained – Mary was at the tomb – looking for the body of her Lord
A last act of tenderness and devotion – for her teacher and friend.
A necessary moment of intimacy that was needed to say goodbye and move on.
But he was gone!
And her darkness became deeper in every way.
The first experience of Easter day is not joy but complete loss – terror and despair.
We skip this too quickly – but we need to pause at this moment because we experience resurrection most profoundly when it is still dark and we are weeping.
This has been the theme of our Lent course – learning to find gratitude for what is being given in our darkest and most difficult times of life.
We have had 26 people to each session (a different 26 to each one!) and the feedback is very positive – as we’ve learnt from the stories of Jesus, Paul, Joseph and Daniel.
Each biblical character we have looked at faced enormous difficulties, betrayals and sadness. Each was always given more than they gave up at the end – such is the mystery of loss and pain – the journey of the cross to the garden where all begins again.
My prayers are with you all as we continue through Lent – and in anticipation of when we can say He is Risen! – a very Happy Easter to you all.