[Mary Magdalene] said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” (John 20:2)
A student was fumbling around trying to answer a discussion question, seeking desperately for the answer she thought I wanted to hear. I stopped her midsentence. “Hannah, it’s okay to admit that you don’t know! I don’t know either, that’s why I asked the question.” Few like to admit, when confronted with a problem or a puzzling event, that they do not know the answer. Even more, when information is so readily available to us through digital technology, we never like to tell our friends “I don’t know.” We do not like to read the words “no one knows” in an essay on a topic we are researching. But a good question leads us to dig deeper and in unknown places—even when we do not know.
Mary Magdalene woke up early to practice her devotion to Jesus. Stumbling through the dark, she came upon a scene she was not expecting: the large stone of her Lord’s tomb had been taken away. Her reaction was to run away, find someone to share her anxiety, and admit her bewilderment. Because she did not know how to interpret what she experienced, she rushed headlong into the mystery of the resurrection.
Admitting that we are stumped, that we do not understand the awesome work of God, can begin the process of true discovery. Since God in essence is true mystery, then unanswered questions are the pathway to finding God.
Replace some of your easy answers with good questions.
Rich Eckley is professor emeritus of theology at Houghton College (NY). He is an ordained Wesleyan minister, and enjoys—with his wife Lynn—entertaining four active grandchildren.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.