A story filled with precious meaning for the Christian Scientist is told in the 20th chapter of St. John, where Mary Magdalene goes, before the dawn of day, to visit the tomb of her crucified Lord. The darkness and cheerlessness of that early morning hour must have served but to emphasize her deep sorrow, accentuated on her arrival at he tomb by the discovery that the body of Jesus had been taken away. Even after Peter and John, who had hastened to the garden on hearing her startling announcement, had returned disheartened to their homes, the faithful Mary remained, and overcome in contemplation of the apparent hopelessness of the situation, she stands without the sepulcher weeping. Once more she stoops down to look into the empty tomb; but now her vision has cleared, and she sees the two angels, whose question, "Woman, why weepest thou?" brought forth that pathetic response, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him." Then it was, as she turned to go away, that Jesus met her, though at first she knew him not, and it was in answer to his sympathetic inquiry as to why she was weeping that she, voicing the possible hope which sprang into being at the sight of this tangible presence, replied: "Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him." The Master, we are told, then called her by name. The outward form she had failed to recognize, but that one word, "Mary," uttered with all his wonted tenderness, filled her with the joy of recognition, and revealed to her once again him whose loss she had so lately mourned.

It is a story which can but appeal to all who read it, and it has a special significance for some who are perhaps just entering into the realization of the truths of Christian Science, and whose previous religious experience has been deep and sincere. To these the old forms of service and worship, in whatever church they had called their own, were very precious. With what reverence they regarded its ordinances, how their hearts were comforted by its assurances of divine love and pardon, in its interpretation of prayer and praise; and now that the teaching of Christian Science has come into their lives, it all seems so revolutionary, so new, that they scarce can recognize the truths of Christianity in their changed and resurrected forms, and it is with a sense of great loss that they cry with Mary. "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him." It is to those who have come to this point in their experience that the story offers special encouragement and comfort. At such a time as this, when tempted to look down into the sepulcher of former beliefs, it is well to remember that, although material sense sees not the Christ, yet the risen Christ stands near, and is calling each one by name with a message of hope for every sorrowing heart.

April 10, 1909

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