This is the day. You have awoken in it. Your breath is still in your lungs—stretch your ribcage outward with a deep inhale and press it inward with a long exhale.
This is the day. You are part of love. Your past is a piece of love’s history, and the moments ahead of you are elements of love’s continuation. Without you, love is not the same.
This is the day. Perhaps yesterday feels as though it has predetermined today with lingering tasks or regrets. Perhaps tomorrow’s uncertainty has interjected itself into today, blurring this day’s wonder. But the grace of this day, by itself, is not in vain.
Today two of Jesus’ disciples rush in and out of the tomb to witness the absence of a body; they are harried by yesterday and worried for tomorrow. But Mary Magdalene lingers, allowing herself time to pay attention to the empty tomb and to her emotions. It’s as though Jesus has been taken from her all over again.
This is the day when grief and glory collide, stretching our spirits to understand hope. This is the day when mystery and intimacy interweave, stretching our perspective on life. This is the day when miracles and fear comingle, until we stretch the legs of faith and run with joy.
This is the day when an impossible stone is rolled out of place, when the lost is found, when the story continues beyond death. Like the angels who keep Mary company as she weeps, life and love keep us company through death and grief. Love calls our name. Life reminds us not to cling too tightly.
We are strained and stretched, distended and revived by the drama of Easter—by the drama of life. But this day, and each day, invites our joyful confession: “I have seen the Lord.”
You are marvelous in all the world, O God most holy. You are joy to our spirits, O Christ most lovely. You are peace to our living, O Spirit most gracious. Alleluia! Amen.
This week’s readings take us through the depths but then into the eternal light. We walk each step with Jesus, who suffers betrayal, abandonment, and death. But it is more than that. In his suffering, Jesus also enters into the brokenness of our human condition and feels our pain, such that on the Cross he even feels abandonment by God. He walks through the valley of the shadow of death because of God’s amazing, reckless love for us. This is the power of Holy Week. But that is not the end of the story. Jesus’ steps do not end at the Cross, for he walks out of the tomb! Now we can follow in his steps and participate in his new life. He is risen indeed!
Read Isaiah 42:1-9. How is God calling you to be a light? How does God empower you to follow God’s call to you?
Read Psalm 70. What is prompting you to reach out for God’s help today? In what ways do you ask for that help?
Read John 13:1-17, 31b-35. What acts of service does Jesus’ example in this reading move you to perform? Choose one act you will do today in remembrance of Jesus’ humility.
Read John 20:1-18. When have you, in the light of God’s love, let go of the way you thought your life would be in order to live a different reality that God intended for you?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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