‘You shall have no other Gods before me.’ If you’re going to say ‘yes’ to me as your God, you have to say ‘no’ to other Gods. Children learn the meaning of ‘no’. If we didn’t say ‘no’ they’d be in danger – it’s a saving ‘no’ that causes “Yeses’ to happen in life. The trouble is, we don’t like it and we’re like children when they say ‘no’ to everything. Our natural tendency in life is that everything should go along swimmingly. Some think that if we are Christians, nothing should go wrong. Mary Magdalene seems to have had this outlook. But with the shock and horror of that dreadful night of Jesus’ arrest and trial, the next day was his agonizing death. God had ignored her desperate prayers and the prayers of the disciples asking God to prevent Jesus’ death. Why? Why is it possible that God could say ‘No’? Let’s try to see why? We are all like poor Mary. We all find it hard to deal with the big no’s in life. Especially when it’s a death. We can’t understand how God could possibly allow such a thing to happen. There’s a terror about it – such anguish, such unbelievable, ongoing pain. Most of us know it. All the yeses of life suddenly disappear, just as many people the world over are finding with the present crisis. What can anyone do? Early on the morning of the first day of the week, Mary goes to the tomb as if trying to get her life together again. Then, as if Jesus’ death isn’t enough, she discovers his body is missing. Not another No! That’s how it is for Mary. Overcome with grief and blinded by tears, all she can do is ask questions. “What’s happened to the body of Jesus?” She doesn’t even recognize Jesus beside her until he says, “Mary!” Now, this is where Mary learns, and we must learn that with God’s yes, there is not only an element of ‘No’. There is another dimension – “Nevertheless”. We must learn this word and apply it to life. It hovers around in the background when God’s yeses seem denied. It is the word of resurrection. It is the word of hope. It is the word that tells us that despite all negative appearances, not all is lost. It is the word of grace. It is the word that tells us that God is still in control however bleak things may appear to be. For, you see this is an orderly world. Evil things will happen. Every day is a mixture and we can’t escape it. Every day something goes wrong. Every day is a day of death. Every day is a day of darkness. Every day is a day of suffering of one kind or another. Every day is a day of evil.