Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-while-showing-heart-sign-hands-1535288/
Matthew 28:1-10 (The Message)
After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing.
He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.
The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.
“Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”
The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples.
Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. “Good morning!” he said.
They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him.
Jesus said, “You’re holding on to me for dear life! Don’t be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I’ll meet them there.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing God directly just as God knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Without love, nothing would have happened.
Without love, the women who make their way through the chill dark to tend to Jesus’ body in the cold tomb, would not have done it.
Without love, they would not have dared go to that place.
Without love, they would not have seen, or heard.
They wouldn’t know a thing about Jesus’ life after life, without love.
Love makes everything important and good possible.
Without love, nothing good can happen.
With love, life is possible. Even in the cold tomb, in the chill dark.
We are used to hearing those words about love from 1st Corinthians in different situations. Weddings, and sometimes funerals. Times when we are reminded of just how precious to us, are the people in our lives, and how fleeting life is, and how quickly things can change.
Life is mysterious, and confusing. The letter says it well:
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing God directly just as God knows us!”
We can’t know exactly what the women saw when they went to the tomb that morning. It’s like squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But the gist of it is that God was not done with Jesus, and God is not done with us.
What they thought was the end, was not the end.
How is that even possible? We don’t know that, yet.
“We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing God directly just as God knows us!”
There will be a time, and a place, beyond what we now know, when we’ll see it all clearly. For now, what we can’t see with our eyes, or sort out with our brains, we can feel, we can sense, we can trust, with our hearts.
Jesus was alive again. Love overcame the death, and fear, and darkness of the world, and even the tomb shone with the bright light of angels in dazzling clothes, come to tell these women, that the one they loved was safe, and they would see him again. Alleluia!