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While it is still dark

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. (John 20:1)

While it was still dark.

Mary Magdalene’s heart must have been heavy, her grief raw and real. Maybe she slept the night before, or maybe she tossed and turned or paced and sobbed. Maybe she could hardly breathe, wondering what would happen next. She might have been crying as she walked, or maybe she didn’t have any tears left.

Whatever her emotions were at that moment, she started toward the tomb.

While it was still dark.

She could not wait for dawn. She had to go to the tomb, even before the sun. What did she expect to find? Not likely comfort. Perhaps clarity? A sense of peace? Maybe she just wanted to be as close to Jesus as she could. Could she sense His presence? Or did she feel alone?

While it was still dark.

That line evokes so much faith. So often we cannot see the light. We might be overcome with worry or fear or sadness or uncertainty. Not knowing what lies ahead, we might not know where to begin. But Mary Magdalene offers us a simple step, the only approach we can take at times—to try to find Jesus, try to be as close to Him as we can be, and hold onto whatever we can find.

While it was still dark.

By this point in Lent, we can see Easter ahead. But there is a depth and darkness to these final days of the Lenten journey, and we are on our way even when we cannot fully make out the path. We might not know all that lies before us. But we know Jesus’ love for us. We know He is the truth, the way, and the life. And, so we put one foot in front of another, stepping forward in faith, living in hope.

While it is still dark.

In these last days of Lent, we know what lies ahead for Jesus. We can picture the palm waving as He enters Jerusalem. We see Him weeping in the garden. We are transfixed by the first Consecration at the Last Supper. We ache as He carries His cross on the path to Calvary. We grieve with His mother and friends as He hangs from the cross. And we keep our sights on the joy of Easter.

This week we prepare for what lies ahead, keeping our eyes on Jesus, knowing that even at the darkest moments, He is love. And, He is the light of the world—even while it is still dark.

Photo by Mark Obrvan

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