Lately, there’s been a lot of focus on the Sabbath Day and what it means to me. Something Elder Ballard said is Regional Conference today struck me and got me thinking about what I am or am not doing to take advantage of the gift God gave me each week, of a Sunday, a day to rest from my labors (and focus a bit more on his).

I think we are woefully underutilizing the power available to us in the Sabbath day and in the living ordinance of the Sacrament.
 – Elder M. Russell Ballard, Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The song “The Day Dawn is Breaking” has been on my mind a lot. This morning, in fact, I just couldn’t get the opening lines out of my head:

“Beautiful day; 
of peace and rest.
Bright be thy dawn;
from East to West…”

I love the Sabbath Day. I know that it is a wonderful blessing in my life to change gears and slow down a bit. Though Elder Ballard’s words make me wonder what I am missing out on. I woner what a little change of focus might do.

The Day The Son Did Not Rise

This morning, I was thinking about what was happening in the Savior’s life today, during Holy Week.

Today, is actually silent in the Gospels. Today is the daythe terrible events of Christ’s false trials, beatings, revilements and crucifixion and death, and His glorious, powerful and eternal resurrection. And, in light of our desire to get past the hard, scary and uncomfortable parts of he story and get on to the crescendo and climax of the story, I think we skip over this day.

Today is the day in the middle. The day where Christ did not rise.

Imagine the way it must have felt to Mary, Christ’s mother, or James, his half-brother, or Mary Magdalene, who was forgiven from deep sin, or to Peter and James who let their nets to follow him.

On that morning–Passover morning–they had to awake to a world that must have been suddenly and shockingly infinitely darker and lonelier for them.

  • Today was the day that the sun rose high on a world where, to them, there was no more Savior.
  • There was nothing more to look forward to, and everything they held on to had been lost.
  • They all had to wake up that morning, but Jesus, who they thought and felt and were sure was the Savior, was dead. He, who they followed daily for years, did not rise with them.
  • Today, the throngs of gawkers and onlookers were gone.
  • Today, hope was gone.
Of course, we know the end of this story. The weeping Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early the next morning mourning Him, and He had risen! He talked to her. He tenderly brought quiet peace and wonder to her. He had risen!

The end of this story is the glorious sunrise of the next day.

The next day, the Son rose.

And tomorrow, the sun will rise, too.

The next time you feel hopeless, alone, or in deep despair, remember that bitter, lonely morning for Jesus’ closest friends — the middle day– And do not forget that tomorrow, and the dawn, is coming.