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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

Sunday, April 19

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week…
—John 20:19

The older I get, the more I know that timing is of utmost importance. This gospel story of the risen Christ appearing to the disciples doesn’t happen haphazardly. It happens at evening, on the first day of the week. It is a new beginning.

In Jewish practice, the day begins with sunset. As light gives way to twilight, one day ends and another begins. Habituated as we are to thinking of “a new day dawning,” this Hebraic sense of time directs our attention and our awareness in a different way.

Sometimes the new beginnings come when night falls. Night brings with it the possibility of sleep, of rest, of that letting go that can only happen when we dream. Newness begins in darkness in nature—in the seed splitting open in the fertile earth, in the new life nestling in a mother’s womb.

Be on the lookout for the new beginnings. As we move into the second week of Eastertide, the gospel draws our attention to the subtler signs of resurrection, the signs of life made new in the evening, in the darkness, when we have abandoned ourselves to dreams, when we are not in control.

Gracious Risen Christ, grant me the eyes to see the signs of new life called forth in night, in darkness, in sleep. Amen.