28 After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. Matthew 28:1
Through the Bible: Matthew 28, Mark 16
This really happened on this day last year:
I had finished a wonderful book called Looking for Lovely by Annie F Downs. The gist of the book is to find what is beautiful and true in everyday, ordinary things. Annie writes chapters on finding what’s lovely in things like sushi, conversations with athletes, Zumba classes and fingernail polish (okay, I didn’t get a whole lot out of those chapters). And she wrote a chapter on sunrises.
Each chapter ends with a practical way to “find lovely” over the next week. So obviously the chapter on sunrises ends with an encouragement to check with a weather app to see when sunrise will be, get up about 45 minutes before and walk to a place where you can watch the sun come up.
So I did. I got my dog, my phone, and my headphones and started up a hill in an undeveloped part of our subdivision.
And this is the absolute truth: when I left the paved street and started up the dirt path, I pushed play on my Bible app. It “just so happens” that in our chronological plan, on this Sunday morning we are in the story of the resurrection. So this is what I heard,
“Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.” Matthew 28:1 ESV
I continued up the hill to where I could be in position to see the sun come up over the horizon. AND I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP! When I got to the top of the hill and turned to the eastern horizon, the verse I heard was,
“And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:6 ESV
Oh my Lord, your timing is just amazing! It was like sitting in a theater before a symphony. You hear the orchestra tuning up. Then the conductor steps up on the dais, lifts his baton, and with the downstroke the symphony begins and it just resounds to the depths of who you are.
There was one tree on the horizon, and the rising sun blazed through its branches like it was on fire. It reminded me of a line from one of my favorite poems, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
“Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes; The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”
I worshiped. Oh how I worshiped. I am so thankful to the God who, just for the joy of it, so perfectly orchestrates the lovely in little things.