Scripture: Matthew 27:55-66
Key Verses: Matthew 27:55-61 55Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him.56Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus.58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.59So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
Reflection: There are moments in our lives when we experience Church happening around us. These are holy moments as the Body of Christ bears witness to love, justice and compassion. This passage may be the first glimpse of the church in action as the women gather together after the crucifixion. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was with Jesus at the foot of the cross. This would have been the most awful and gut wrenching experience of her life, to see and experience the death of her son on the cross. The sword that pieced his side could have just as well pierced her side as she suffered the deepest of wounds that day. She could feel the pain that Jesus felt—that is the way it is with parents.
I have known and watched many parents in my twenty years as a pastor and watched such mothers and fathers when their children are in great pain and even dying. Like Mary, the parents totally feel the pain of their child. Mary felt the excruciating pain of Jesus…but she was not alone. Her best friends and sister were there with her and although their love and compassion did not diminish the sadness and agony she was feeling, they were present. They were our first glimpse of church. Her friends and sister sat with her in her grief. They could not lift her out of the situation and neither could they smooth it over to make it all OK.
We will face darkness, we may even feel the excruciating pain that our children may feel and all of us will probably experience the grief associated with a loved one dying. In those moments, we will be together. It does not diminish the sadness or agony, but like Mary it may just allow us to stay present in the place where we desperately need to be.
Prayer: God of light and darkness, may I be present in all of life’s situations. Plant my feet when I want to run and seal my lips when I need to be present for another. Allow me to be the body of Christ with you and with each other. In your Son’s name I pray. Amen
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].