"Early, on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb!"

John 20:1

So much, so much -- in one verse of scripture!  I thought I'd awaken us to what I've come to experience in this first bit of the record of the first Easter and a new world.  Hope the Spirit is with us as we live to celebrate and share this miracle of God reconciling the world through his Son's resurrection with the world of 2017.

"Early, on the first day of the week, while it was  still dark,"  Do you hear the echo of the first creation?  In order for it to be 'early', temporal order - time - has to exist and it is, again, a creation of God and an echo of long ago.  Genesis 1, of long ago, expresses that first event of the creation with the words, "In the beginning".  In other words, early, when God crerates, there is an ending to 'chaos' and a beginning of 'time', even in the darkness it is a new day.

And so it is in the beginning of the new creation, there is 'new' time, a time beyond death, judgement and decay.  And early, in the darkness, love came, created (again) and ventured out!

"Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed...."  "Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light." - Genesis 1:3

Here on Easter, the love of God in and through the Holy Spirit and the love of humanity, in and through Mary Magdalene, parallel each other.  Mary's love and God's love; however have the same goal -- redemption of the 'deep darkness' that still covers the earth!  Mary's efforts are limited by the limits of humanity in both power and faith.  She is coming to finish the proper preparation of the body of Jesus, which had been shortcut before the Sabbath began.  It would not bring light to the darkness of Jesus' death, but it would bring a candle of comfort to those who loved him, for all that could be done for the one they loved, in human terms, would be completed.

And once again God's love in the darkness of that first day of the week, of a new time, said let there be light!  And the last word of the grave was demolished by the light of love - forever!  Its magnitude overwhelmed Mary and frightened her, so she ran for help.  Too frightened, too shocked, too saddened by the past to see into the light of this 'new week,' but she and so many more would and will!

Come, venture out into the deep darkness, bring sunglasses and sunscreen, for the magnitude of the light of God's love bursts forth from Jesus' tomb and lights a new creation! It may, without preparation, impair vision and even scorch the skin; but its depth will lift all creation, all hearts, and all lives to eternal love, life and light under the wings of the Almighty once again.  A new beginning....!

Bruce E. Dalious, Interim Pastor