Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service
20:10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.
20:11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb.
What made Mary stay on, weeping outside the tomb? We hear the reason why the disciples go home, “for as yet they did not understand the scripture.” But we aren’t told why Mary stays.
Perhaps, in her grief, she couldn’t move.
Perhaps, ruminating over all she had heard and seen of Jesus she had a gut instinct that this was not the end. Something her heart was telling her that her head hadn’t caught up with yet, but that she was allowing to direct her actions.
Perhaps whatever it was that compelled her to follow Jesus in the first place, some kind of deep and innate curiosity, was still at work underneath her sorrow…and it moved her to “bend over to look into the tomb.”
What compels you about this story and makes you stick around? No doubt you’ve experienced loss and grief. When you bend over and look into the tomb, what comforting encounters have you experienced in your times of sorrow? Was there ever a time when you just went home, when you understood so little about what was happening to you; when your heart was so broken that all your curiosity and hope leaked out?
One of the challenges of the Easter story is to find ways into its promises of hope and new life that don’t negate the real experience of hopelessness and despair that can come to some in grief. What would we say to those who just stay home on Easter as a way to spark new curiosity about hope? If we’re honest, none of us “understands the scriptures” in the sense of intellectually “getting” the resurrection story. So what is our own faith curiosity about, and how do we share it?
As usual when it comes to our beautiful, strange faith…more questions than answers…
peace be with you,
part of the team for Lent and Easter from Nightcliff Uniting Church, Darwin, Australia