20:1 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.

2 So 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.”

It is still “dark”. Nothing has improved; the crippled axis of the world has not yet been corrected. There is no fairy tale ending at this point in the horrifying story. And then it gets worse;

the stone had been removed from the tomb.

What could it mean? Who would do such a thing? Whose benefit would possibly be served by disturbing Jesus’ tomb?

The questions just keep piling on.

Why has Mary Magdalene come “to the tomb”? What is she hoping to find? Why has she come alone so early in the morning when it is “still dark”?

There are no answers to any of these questions. We are left to speculate. What is clear is that Mary shares our confusion and uncertainty. Perhaps even she did not know why she had come to this place of mourning. Certainly, she did not understand what she found when she arrived at the tomb.

The one thing that can be said for certain is that, in John’s account, Mary Magdalene, of all Jesus’ followers, demonstrates at this point an uncommon degree of courage. She alone has come to the one place that clearly identifies her as a devotee of a man who has just been executed at the behest of the powerful religious hierarchy. She alone stands up in the face of these men who have demonstrated they have no compunction at all about using their power to assert their will over those who appear to pose even a remote threat to their entrenched position.

It is not clear what Mary experienced in the dark early morning hour. It seems from her report that she saw more than just a misplaced stone. It may only be speculation on Mary’s part but her assessment seems realistic that the stone was rolled away because

They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.

But what are they to make of a missing body? Who would want to perpetrate this final indignity disturbing the body of a dead man?

The journey of faith is always a journey. It is a process that moves forward into mystery and uncertainty trusting that there is meaning and promise along the way.

None of Jesus’ followers could discern even a whiff of meaning or a hint of light in the darkness of these troubling events. Nothing makes any sense. They flail around trying to find their way.

This is a picture of my life. I do not understand so many of the circumstances I encounter. Peoples’ choices and decisions are often profoundly bewildering. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep moving in whatever direction seems most likely to be heading towards the light.

What helps me to keep moving even when I am unable to see where I am headed?

What is this power that draws me towards the light even in the midst of the darkness of my own lack of understanding?