While It Was Still Dark

I’ve been thinking about this verse from Sunday, and particularly about “while it was still dark,” as the preacher attempted to make a point about the depths of despair.

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

John 20:1 (ESV)

Or, as the hymn has it, “while the dew was still on the roses.”

On Maunday Thursday, the first day of Pesach, the moon was full. By Easter Sunday, the waning gibbous moon was still quite bright, so “while it was still dark” was not that dark. And even with a New Moon the sky was somewhat like this photograph of the Milky Way, taken in the Negev.

© unknown, an image of the Milky Way taken in the Negev, from https://www.mazadatours.com/mitzpe-ramon-named-first-night-sky-park-middle-east/

And the garden somewhat like this, depending on what is meant by σκοτίας ἔτι οὔσης. I like to think the author meant 04:00. The silent time. The night animals have gone to sleep and the birds have yet to sing.

© unknown, an image of a tree with pink blooms and the full moon, from https://fullmoonphase.com/pink-moon.htm

Metaphorically, dark. Yet a world beautiful and good.

Go out early, just before dawn, smell the world in Spring and listen.


Something is about to happen.