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They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen cloths.

Something to read

Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid.

- John 19:39-41.

Something to think about

Here is another secret admirer. Again, we cannot know the deep regret that Nicodemus, like Joseph of Arimathea, might have felt at being able to approach Jesus only after his death.

How many opportunities had he missed earlier? And yet, he is privileged to minister to Christ’s body in this practical way, producing gifts that recall the gifts brought by the magi at the other end of Jesus’s life.

We cannot know, but we can hope for his sake, that he was among those who encountered Jesus after his resurrection. It is good to think of him at last standing openly, in the daylight, among Christ’s new church.

Something to do

God is so merciful, that it is sometimes easy to forget how important timing can be. Most of the time it isn’t: our lives are spongy and fluid, and usually something not done today can be done tomorrow.

But every so often, there is a critical moment that we cannot afford to miss — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to say the one thing a person needs to hear, make the one gesture, join the right campaign, that will make a difference to our world.

And there’s always the chance that we might be looking the other way, and blow it.

So today task is not an action, but a resolution, framed in the following prayer:

Something to pray

Please forgive us, Lord, for those occasions when we have failed to produce the right word, done the right thing, when it was necessary. Make us alert to those moments in the future when we’re called to make a difference. Build in us the habit of loveliness, so that we naturally do the right thing, at the right time. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Paul Handley, Managing Editor of The Church Times at the time of writing.