By Laurel Woodward Breckbill, student life intern, assistant resident director
Scripture: John 20:1-18 (NRSV)
The story of Jesus’ resurrection always reminds me of spring. Indeed, we remember the story just as new buds push through still-cold soil, as the winter sun begins to shine more brightly. In this season, we see new beginnings all around, so to see Jesus’ story through the metaphor of springtime gives us better understanding for this holy resurrection as both the “end of a beginning”, and the start of new hope.
Last February, I diligently cared for egg-carton starts arranged tightly on a windowsill. New shoots were beginning to burst through and I had high hopes that this year’s garden would be fruitful! One morning, I came home to a ransacked living room. Our beloved cat had reclaimed the sunny windowsill and my starts were doomed. It was the end of my garden’s brief beginning. As I desperately counted weeks and looked at long-term weather outlooks, I began to lose hope that my garden could go on as planned.
The weather warmed and I replanted a few seeds directly into the fresh garden soil. What a surprise it was to see green burst through. These strong plants reminded me that so often we lose hope quickly when our “beginnings” end abruptly. Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that our stories are always beginning anew.
Living with Jesus was so full of spring-like anticipation and excitement that his death shook the very foundation of his friends and followers. What to do with the end of this wonderful beginning? Where to go after losing the very person who inspired awe in the hearts of so many? It is Mary Magdalene who first discovers a new spring outside Jesus’ empty tomb.
“I have seen the Lord!” What a turning point it must be for Mary Magdalene when she recognizes her teacher. Her story’s ink was yet wet with sorrow and now she realizes new life through Christ. The road ahead will be long and difficult, but through Christ, this new journey is also one of hope. It represents spring, anew!
Thank you for reading and responding to our Lenten devotional series and theme, “Living Ink.” We hope you join us again in winter as Goshen College students, faculty, and staff offer daily devotions during the Advent Season. Peace!
Scripture: John 20:1-18 (NRSV)
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him. 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.
11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? She said to them, They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him. 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for? Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. 16Jesus said to her, Mary! She turned and said to him in Hebrew, Rabbouni! (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, I have seen the Lord; and she told them that he had said these things to her.