April 4 Reflections

Frederick Buechner shares the account of a time in his life when he was wondering what direction to take. During the wondering, he was going to fly to a possible opportunity. Yet did not know. He was early to the airport, so he stopped at the bar for a drink which always made it easier for him to fly. He sat down on a bar stool which had a little menu in front of it with the drink of the day. On the top of the menu was an object-and the object turned out to be a tie clip, and the tie clip had on it the initials C.F.B., which were his initials, and he was stunned by it. Just B would have been sort of interesting, F.B. would have been fascinating, and C.F.B., in the right order-the chances of that would be astronomical. What it meant to him, what he chose to believe it meant was this: You are in the right place, the right errand, the right road at this moment. I was as if God whispered to him this is the path for you. God broke in, in a surprising way. In the midst of the struggle God spoke through a tie clasp.

This week we see God speak through a stone. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint the body of Jesus. (Mark 16:1) They loved Jesus. They were going to do this compassionate act of mercy for him because they remembered how much he loved them. And Jesus had just died. They watched. The grief was raw, deep; in fact, they were still in shock, God’s anesthesia. On the way they remembered, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb? The stone is huge. We cannot get to Jesus. Now not only grief but deep disappointment. The stone is huge. How do we get to Jesus? The stone can be spiritual emptiness…or an addiction…broken body…realities of life and the list can go on. There is a stone…a roadblock…that keeps us from Jesus and knowing his life and love. How can we get to him?

Listen to this amazing grace: “But when they looked up, they saw the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.” (Mark 16:4) The stone caused such worry, fear, and disappointment and yet “when they looked up” they saw it was rolled away. God did it. No human help…God simply did it. Death can feel like that stone. So big. How do we even begin to think about life ending on this earth? What is after that? The stone is too big…we cannot see what is beyond the stone. And yet God moves the stone. God speaks through a stone. God says, “I got this. When you are at your wits end and have no human solution…I will roll the stone away.” My hope is that God is going to speak to us on Sunday in a life-changing way through a stone that is rolled away. Some scripture to reflect on: Mark 16:1-8; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; I Corinthians 15:1-11.    

Grace upon Grace,

Verlyn