Read: John 20:1-10
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. (v. 1)
On Easter morning, says John, Mary Magdalene arrived at the cemetery “while it was still dark.” Luke says it was “early dawn” (24:1). Matthew says it was “toward the dawn” (28:1). Mark says that “the sun had risen” (16:2). But John says it was dark.
Which is how our encounters with God almost always begin—in the dark. Even in broad daylight, when we feel alone and God-forsaken, life seems dark. Somewhere last week a single mother was called into her supervisor’s office and told that her position was being eliminated. And when she walked back down the hall, to clean out her office, it was dark. Somewhere last week a young couple got a phone call from the pediatric oncologist, who said that their toddler’s cancer was irreversible. And when the call ended, it was dark. Somewhere last week an old man arrived at his wife’s hospital bedside, and the nurse whispered, “I doubt she’ll be able to recognize you.” And it was dark.
That’s how our encounters with God usually begin—in the dark. Our hopes and dreams have been crucified, and resurrection is the last thing we’re expecting. But never forget that somewhere in the darkness God is at work, taking the worst and using it for something redemptive and purposeful, beyond our imagining. “The light shines in the darkness,” says John, “and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). Christ is risen! —Lou Lotz
As you pray, ask God to be the light in your darkness.