Our lives are stitched together with a series of small beginnings and endings. There are many first times and last times that mark our progress through life. Some of them seem to stand out as times for stopping, recognising the moment and perhaps giving thanks.
The women who took perfume to anoint Jesus’ body and ourselves are not so different. We get caught up in the past, its unfairness and losses and that is right. Like us they needed to recognise an ending and reverence the loss and the change to slow down time and come to terms with what has happened. All that is essential if we are to grow in wisdom and let life teach us. These moments are times to gather up what the past has to offer, but they are not times to cling onto for very long.
But the angels in the story remind the women not to look for too long at what is dead and what is done. Instead to look for life and God’s presence in what is happening, in the present moment. It is in the present moment that we meet the risen Jesus. Whilst we believe that resurrection lies at the end of each human story it also lies in the "now " of each moment along the way, just as the cross does.That movement from death to life can be hard to make. It can be so easy to be trapped in our sadness and regret. All of us need to pause, and listen for the encouragement of angel voices to move us, forward into riesn life now.
The cult of the Holy Sepulchre is Christian only in so far
As it is the cult of a place where Christ is no longer to be found.
But such a cult can only be valid on one condition:
That we are willing to move on,
To follow him to where we are not yet,
To seek him where he goes before us - to Galilee.
In what ways am I still trapped in the past?
Who and where are the angel voices that call me back to life?
Lord, help me to face the past honestly and not be swallowed up by it. Help me to move out of the tombs of past failures and disappointments, so that I can meet you in the challenge of living in the present moment. Show me, this Easter. how to echo the words of the angels at the tomb, so that those around me will be able to meet you, their risen Lord, in the days that lie ahead.