Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
I wish I was a morning person. Morning is a time that engages the senses. The pastel ribbons of the dawning sun paint the sky as it rises over the horizon. The fingers of light float over the earth and give shape and definition to the shadows in the landscape. The birds fill the air with a cheerful chorus and the fragrance of the morning dew refreshes and energizes me. I love taking my coffee out on the deck and just basking in the gift of God’s new day.
Unfortunately, I find it difficult to wake up in the morning. I will lie in bed and tap the snooze button just one more time to garner a few more moments of sleep. But the days I rise early enough to experience the dawn, are the days that I truly feel a connection with God’s spirit and gain strength for the day through the gifts of the morning creation. No matter what challenges the night has held, dawn brings the hope of a new beginning.
I thought about this as the Easter story was read this weekend. Mary went to the tomb right before dawn with spices to preserve Jesus’ body. She was grieving the loss of her friend and Savior, probably still questioning why his death had to happen. I am sure she did not see the beauty of the colorful dawning sun or hear the song of the birds in the air. She was using her all her strength to find comfort by caring for the body of Jesus.
Psalm 30:5B Says “sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Mary had no expectations for experiencing joy in her time of grief. She probably had not slept all night and had tossed and turned in a restless sleep. Yet we know that first Easter dawn did bring the joyful gift of the resurrected Savior not only to Mary but to all believers. Across the world believers seek to capture the inspiration of that moment by worshipping at sunrise services each Easter.
This gift of a resurrected Savior is offered to us at any time just like the early morning gifts of dawn are available on a daily basis. Sometimes our burdens blind our ability to experience the peace and joy that the Lord wants to give us with a new dawn. Other times our own stresses and exhaustion obstruct our ability to connect with energy that comes with the gifts of the morning creation. No matter where you are today, remember “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is His faithfulness” Lamentations 3:22,23
Father God, Thank you for the gift of salvation and grace given freely to me through the resurrection of your son Jesus. Help me to experience your presence each morning in the gifts of creation and the words of your scriptures. Amen.