Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome ran from the tomb, distressed and afraid. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. - Mark 16: 1-8
One could say it is slow in coming each year, the interplay between the ending of winter and the arrival of spring. More sunshine, then cold, gardens starting to sprout then wind and snow. Back and forth like a tug of war.
The resurrection story in Mark's gospel is profoundly human. It is not the full blown Easter joy of the other Gospels but rather the slow greening of the spirit. It is a story of encounter with the emptiness of both tomb and spirit.
The women who go to the tomb find it empty, hear the angelic proclamation "he is not here, he is risen," then run away "distressed and terrified." And instead of sharing joy they say nothing to anyone because of their fear.
This is not the more regimented religious version that accommodates the need for certainty and explanation: the one that goes so quickly from death on the cross to resurrection joy and leaves one with whiplash.
There is progression in the greening of the spirit just like in the greening of the earth. There is room for fear, distress and disbelief. There is not always an immediate turn around, but the slow converting to the light of each place in our hearts, minds and spirit. Resurrection may be an immediate moment but letting the stone be rolled away from my heart takes time.
May I let Life touch my fears, questions and distress.
As the earth is renewed this springtime may I be slowly greened in my faith.
Let the greening begin in me o God!
- Rev. David
When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain,
your touch can call us back to life again,
fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
love is come again, like wheat arising green.
(VU 186, John Crum, 1928, to the tune of Noël Nouvelet.)