Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him.” 3 Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. 4 They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. 5 Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in.
Lately I’m forever looking for things that aren’t where I think I’ve left them. I’ve lost that daily rhythm I had in place. Things like my glasses, my phone charger and my headphones aren’t where I expect them to be. Life had a rhythm that flowed, then the Pandemic hit and it seems everything got turned upside down. I keep trying to get back to that familiar rhythm of my life before the Pandemic, but it’s gone. The only option is to find a new rhythm, a new way of living, and move forward from there.
I think this past year we’ve all been looking for our previous life, the way it was before the seismic shift of 2020. Now most of us are figuring out how to move on to a new way of living. Today’s scripture finds Mary Magdalene, Peter, and the disciple Jesus loved all looking for what had once been their life, they were looking for Jesus. Before the seismic event of the crucifixion, their lives had a rhythm that revolved around Jesus. They travelled with Jesus, lived with Jesus, cared for Jesus and learned at His feet. They had such hopes and dreams, all shattered by Christ’s death that turned their lives upside down.
Mary comes in the dark to the tomb to grieve, but the stone is not where they left it. She runs to get Peter and the disciple Jesus loved, and they return, looking for the body of Jesus, only to find the grave clothes. None of this is what they had expected. You can understand their grief and confusion at not finding the dead body of Jesus. Yet in spite of all their time with Jesus, they don’t seem to understand what has happened. They are caught in that place of hoping, but not yet believing that new life is possible.
Like Mary and the two disciples we come looking for Jesus and expect to find Jesus on our terms. We expect life will go on in its predictable rhythm. We live hoping, not believing that new life can come from death. When we go looking for Jesus we find Him, and Christ brings resurrection and new life into our lives. God’s divine love shatters our old lives as sinners and sets us free to tell everyone that “Jesus is Risen.” When we move from hoping, to believing in Jesus, our lives are forever transformed.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Have you been looking for Jesus? Do you feel caught between hoping, but not yet believing that new life through Jesus is really possible? Are you trying to get your pre-pandemic life back or are you moving forward into the new life of love and service that Jesus has for you?
Prayer: Jesus, you are the resurrection and the life, you shatter our expectations and redeem us from sin with your love so we can have new life in you. Open our hearts so we can move from hoping to believing in you, and live the new life of love and service you have planned for us in your Kin(g)-dom. Amen.