Life and Love triumph over darkness and death.
Here are a few extracts from my books The Bible Retold and Prayers and Verses.
Please feel free to use any of my material that helps you, saying where it is from.
Where is he?
The door was locked, the shutters were closed over the windows, and a faint lamp smoked fitfully in the corner. Jesus’ followers hardly dared speak: they hardly dared breathe. As they sat in the small room where they had all gathered after the night of the crucifixion, they hung their heads. The shock of Jesus’ death had stunned them, and fear for their own lives kept them shut away behind locked doors.
But now, it was near morning on the third day after Jesus had died, and Mary Magdalene began to watch the crack in the shutters for the faintest glimpse of new light. When she could wait no longer she slipped out of the house, keeping to the deepest shadows, and ran to the place where she had kept watch – the place where Jesus was buried.
Then, she stopped. The stone covering the entrance of the cave-tomb had been rolled away – who could have done it? She ran back to the others. “He’s gone – they’ve taken him!” she gasped. Simon Peter and John raced to the tomb ahead of her. They saw the strips of linen, and the burial cloth, but there was no body. The men ran back to Jerusalem, but Mary stayed, weeping, exhausted, and bent low.
Then she looked into the tomb. She saw two angels in white, seated where the body had been. Their voices were strong, yet gentle. “Woman, why do you cry?”
“They’ve taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where he is!” she answered. Then she straightened, and turned, seeing a man through her tears.
“Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Mary thought he must be the gardener, beginning his work in the cool dawn. “Have you taken him, sir? Tell me where he is, and I’ll go and get him.”
“Mary!” said the man. And Mary knew his voice. It was Jesus, standing there before her. Alive!
“My Teacher!” she called, reaching out.
“Don’t hold onto me – go back and tell my brothers, my disciples, that I am returning to my Father and their Father, my God and their God.”
She stepped backwards and then ran, as dawn began to colour the sky. She threw open the door to the room where the disciples were hidden, and pale, golden light washed over their faces. She called out, “I have seen the Lord!” Her voice rang loud in the still room and here eyes were wide with wonder, but they did not know how to answer her.
Come, Holy Angels,
into this dark night.
Roll away the stone of death.
Let the light of life
shine from heaven.
Good Friday is locked in winter,
in grief and death and dark;
Easter Sunday begins the springtime,
rising up like the lark.
My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear athe music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul-
How can I keep from singing?