Are you a morning or an evening person? Are you “up with the lark” or, a “night owl”? I am a morning person (some of you inwardly groan – I can hear it from here).
I love the start of a new day, an opportunity to start afresh, to begin again. For me the best, most productive, hours of the day are before noon. After that, it’s downhill all the way! By 10 o’clock at night I am like a zombie movie and anything later is just hopeless.
I discovered the reality of this a few years back, when I was reflecting on the words of the Psalmist;
Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn
(Psalm 57 vs. 8)
I was at a minister’s conference, sharing a room with a colleague with whom, unfortunately, I was not well matched. I am a morning person, he was a night owl. I was up well before him and he returned the room long after I was snoring! Try as we might, no matter how quiet we tried to be, we always managed to disturb each other!
I have always been fascinated by the words in the gospel of John’s account of the resurrection;
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark
(John 20 vs.1)
John here is speaking of more than an early morning! He is using the images of light and dark to speak about hope and hopelessness. He wants us to enter into the hopelessness of Mary Magdalene seen by the use of the word “dark”. We all have those dark times in our lives.
But, there is a conflict in this verse, “Early on the first day of the week”. Yes, it may still be dark but, these words speak about something new is about to happen. Neither Mary, or the reader, cannot begin to imagine just how exciting the possibilities of this “new week” are. Mary will meet with the risen Jesus and He will give to her an important job to do (she will be the Apostle to the Apostles – to coin a phrase).
What John wants us to know is that, with Jesus, the darkness does not have the last word because of the new beginning He gives us.
At times, we all need a clean slate and a chance to begin again. Surely, that is what the message of the cross and resurrection mean. We can have that fresh start today.
Early on the first day of the week…..