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  • Writer's pictureDavid OMalley

The Way of Resurrection

Scripture: Luke 24: 1 – 9, 11

 

On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn, they went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but on entering discovered that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there. As they stood there, not knowing what to think, two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared at their side. Terrified, the women lowered their eyes. But the two men said to them,


‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here, he has risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee: that the Son of Man had to be handed into the power of sinful men and be crucified, and rise again on the third day?’

And they remembered his words.



When the women returned from the tomb and told this to the eleven and to all the others. The other women with them also told the apostles, but this story of theirs seemed pure nonsense, and they did not believe them.

 

Life Experience

It was a significant moment and I felt myself slowing down to do this ordinary thing for the last time. We were clearing out our desks. It was the end of term, but for me it was the end of my time at college. I found myself lingering as I collected together the dusty bits and pieces of the years; broken pens, odd notes that had been passed during teaching sessions. My fingers found themselves touching the graffiti that covered the inside of the desk drawer, seeing it as if for the first time as well as the last.

 

In many ways I was glad to be moving on and letting go. Part of me felt a huge warmth for this room; for the memories it triggered, the experiences it held, and the friendships and battles it had witnessed over the years. Amidst all the noise and activity I found myself sat down again, my mind running in reverse and collecting the memories that seemed significant before I walked out into something totally new.


It was here, at this desk that I arranged my first date. This was the room in which I had struggled with French tests, and eventually admitted that I would never be as good as my sister. This was the place where I had my most embarrassing moment, one that I still shudder to remember.

 

This was the room where my favourite teacher had to tell me my Gran had died. So much of my life seemed to have taken place around this desk and these people. Now it was ending. It was right to stop for a while and reverence this moment, put my head down on the desk for one last time, and give thanks for it all, and ask God to sort out what was still confusing.

 

Scriptural Meditation

Our lives are stitched together with a series of small beginnings and endings. There are many first times and last times that mark our progress through life. Some of them seem to stand out as times for stopping, recognising the moment and perhaps giving thanks. The women who took perfume to anoint Jesus’ body and the young person in the classroom are doing similar things; they are recognising an ending and reverencing the moment.



Slowing down activity, and coming to terms with all that has happened, is essential if we are to grow in wisdom and let life teach us. These moments are times to gather up what the past has to offer, but they are not times to cling onto for very long. The angels in the story remind the women not to look for too long at what is dead and what is done. Instead to look for life and God’s presence in what is happening, in the present moment. That movement from death to life can be hard to make. It can be so easy to be trapped in our sadness and regret. All of us need to pause, and listen for the encouragement of angel voices to move us, forward into life.



Prayer

Lord, help me to face the past honestly and not be swallowed up by it. Help me to move out of the tombs of past failures and disappointments, so that I can meet you in the challenge of living in the present moment. Show me how to echo the words of the angels at the tomb, so that those around me will be able to meet you, their risen Lord, in the days that lie ahead.





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