Photo courtesy of Belvédère
Early on the First Day of the Week
It was early in the morning, on the first day of the week when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw the stone removed from the tomb. “It was early in the morning, on the first day of the week. And so too it is now. Early in the morning, perhaps not in time, but early. It is the dawn of our salvation. The heavens are streaked with the bright colors of liveliness. The orange warmth of God’s presence peeking into our view. The burning red of God’s redeeming love stretching out before us, it is the daybreak of our eternal life. The sun’s power piercing through the midnight pitch. The still cold giving way to the rays of life. It is a moment of tranquility and promise. It is a brand-new day.
The power of God’s Son piercing through our pain and death. The chill of death giving way to the rays of eternal life, the morning of new life. The hope for our future becomes the breath of our present. Eternal life is here, Divine joy has come, a new beginning commences.
Our stale and wandering past are no more. Even the great cloud of death has been burned away by the rising sun. It is early in the morning – with all the life and promise which the sun rise- which God’s Son rise – brings. It is the first day of the week – with many more to come. Only the beginning of what is made known. Only the start of new way, of a new life. Much like the story of creation, the first day simply begins an overflow of life and love. Our whole world – and not simply the earth, but each of our own worlds –welcomes the life-giving touch of God on this the first day.
The days ahead are not to be idle. Rather, the Divine breath which begins this day carries us forth to echo his voice and his love. What we have noticed in our morning of salvation on this first day, we bring with us in future days. To confirm, to bear witness, to testify, to heal – all under the power of the Holy Spirit – of God’s Holy Spirit – of Jesus’ risen Spirit. The inkling that has brought us together today – this first day – this inkling of the Spirit calls us back again and again. Yes, it is our first day of salvation – but it is not the only day of our salvation. Not the only day, for the stone that has so often blocked our path has been rolled away. That great door of death has been burst open. That mammoth boulder of intimidation, filling us with fright, has been pushed aside.
There is nothing now that keeps us from God. Whatever has separated us from the one who is Love is no more. Whatever has locked us into the tomb of lifelessness is no more. Whatever has paralyzed us with deathly fear is no more. Yes, the stone of our self-deprecation – making us question our worthiness, causing us to wonder of our loveliness, to doubt our dignity – the stone of our self-deprecation is rolled away.
The great door of death – locking us into a life of hopelessness, trapping us in a place of loneliness, tricking us into a mind sight of lifelessness – the great door of death is burst open. The mammoth boulder – burdening us with a cynicism which sees only a world fallen, not a world redeemed, weighing down upon us with all the failures and mistakes of our past, crushing us with the false expectation of perfection – the mammoth boulder is pushed aside.
We are now free, free forever through Jesus who has risen. On the first day of the week, the stone has been rolled away.