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Always Darkest Before the Dawn

(7)

Sermon shared by O. K. Neal

March 2009
Summary: Short message on Easter morning at the tomb
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Audience: General adults
Dark before the Dawn

John 20:1-10

Have you noticed?

It IS always darkest before the dawn

I wonder why

Have you?

When at the ranch, you can go outside around 4 am and see millions of stars

More than you can ever see in a city, or even a small town

It is dark

When growing up, I believed I could see the edge of night

Not the soap opera, but where the light stopped and darkness started

Of course, the saying also speaks to emotional darkness

It was dark at the tomb that morning

So dark you could not see the truth in front of your face

Mary found the tomb empty

He was gone

Think of the pain, the darkness

She could not understand

She did not know

It is always darkest just before the dawn

She went to find someone to share the darkness

Peter and John joined her, but walked away

Covered in darkness

She was left alone

But, she was not alone

You and I forget that, too

We are never alone

“Mary”

She only half heard the word

And did not recognize the voice

When the darkness comes, it not only covers our eyes, but our ears

And, even our heart

“Mary”

This time it came through

This time she heard

And her cry is echoed throughout the ages

He has risen. He is alive.

I have seen him

Christ has Risen

Some days are darker than others

Some days are happy and bright

Weddings, childbirth, promotions

Most days are average

Nothing major happening good or bad

Some days are dark

Days of loss

Days of fear

Divorce, death, losing a job

Dark days . . . even black days

Days you wonder if you can survive

Days the whole world crashes down on you

Days you find yourself face down in a corner

Days of “why”

Days you cannot find God

Days that feel like Jesus is gone

Days no one wants to share with you

The world walks away

We do not understand these days

We do not enjoy these days

We do not look forward to these days

We know they are coming, but we hope we can duck them

But, we cannot

We all face them

Some, it seems, face more of those days than others do

Mary forgot

We forget

The scriptures tell us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5, Heb 13:5)

Mary felt forsaken

We feel forsaken

We cannot see around the corner to tomorrow

Mary could not see Easter from the tomb

“Where have you taken his body?”

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

We’ve all felt that

We’ve all been there

Today may look dark

It did to Mary

But remember,

It is always darkest just before the dawn

And, “All things work for the good to those that love the Lord and are called according to his commandments” (Romans 8:28)

And, “I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow”

He has risen

He is alive

On this day of resurrection, renewal and rebirth, let us stand and pray

To read more go to www.opendoorstochrist.org

Rev. O. K. Neal
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