These words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb.
Yesterday morning, a good dozen of us gathered outside in the memorial garden to say prayers on Holy Saturday. We stood over gravestones remembering those we love and see no more. It felt right to be there, outside under a blue sky with the birds and the bees getting ready for Easter Sunday in a garden of memory.
Two roses in full-blown blossom kept company with us. I spied a pair Georgia Bulldogs, too, engraved in stone, their red caps bright as the roses.
We sang, Morning has broken and blackbird has spoken; and overhead, high in the trees, an old crow cawed, “Tomorrow, tomorrow.”
Today is that tomorrow, and Easter is come again: a hidden tomorrow in all our days. In the Gospel of Luke, we hear that women came to the tomb, and found it empty; that a pair of angels (two men in dazzling clothes) told them why and how they remembered the words of Jesus and told the disciples what they knew, and that Peter heard them and ran to see for himself.
When those ancient women came to the tomb, they came ready to attend death, and found themselves suddenly useless, their spices irrelevant. They came looking for Jesus and found something else entirely: a stone rolled away and an empty tomb.
Yet somehow that nothing they found, that confusion they felt, became everything they needed. The pair of angels were there to remind them that this emptiness was something Jesus prepared them for. Hey, the angels said, it’s like he said it’d be, remember.
And feeling useful again, they left, and became the first to try and talk about Easter. If Peter is any measure, they succeeded, because right off he ran to the tomb. Only later would people say he was competing, aiming to be first. I’m guessing, at the time, the women understood why he ran. They knew his grief. Read more