Take It, Eat it, Remember, Drink All of It - Maundy Thursday Meditations
Resurrection Dawn

It was on a Saturday

The Dark Silence of God

Holy Saturday, Stepping into the Darkness with Jesus


Photo by Ruel Calitis on Unsplash

The point of Saturday is that God enters our darkest darkness, our most silent silence, our deepest sorrow, our most fearful horrors, our harrowing despair, our relentless guilt and self-loathing loneliness.

God enters boldly, willingly, humbly, and moved by nothing more nor less than love.

He enters having checked one more time to see if there is another way.

God in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, God in Christ, suffering, God in Christ, buried and laid aside, this God in Christ, is preaching to the dead.

And in that timeless, timely entering into the realm of the dead, He still preaches and draws those who are dead toward a glimmer of hope of life when only a glimmer is all that is needed to open the door of faith and hope.

God has entered my darkness and your darkness, our lonesome solitary darkness and our collective darkness and … in our bleakest moment, we see enough light to calm us and cause us to wait one more day.

One more day … the dawn.

 

If a man die, shall he live again? ( from Job 14:14)

Yahrtzeit candle, a candlee, lit on the Hebrew anniversary of a loved one’s death. Thanks to Epilongo.

The age-old cry of humankind is for eternal meaning. Is there anything beyond this world of pain and tears that brings meaning to these moments while transcending them? Is there a life beyond the grave or is all futile?

Perhaps Job did not really know the answer, but he did have a glimpse. We do know that, unlike most men and women, Job was willing to serve God for nothing. He was willing to worship the Lord with or without reward or promise of life.

Job’s God was not running for office. His status did not depend upon human referendum. He was God and that was that. Because He was God, He deserved praise. Job would come into a deeper understanding of God’s Sovereignty, but the seeds were present even before his testing.

As is true of Job’s pressing questions, the answers come fully in Jesus Christ. The resurrection is the final statement of death’s final defeat. For the one who follows Jesus, there is hope beyond death. John said that he was writing his gospel so that we might know we had eternal life.

There are countless men and women in our communities yearning for answers to the ultimate questions of life. God sets Job up as the ultimate example of an earnest seeker. He records Job’s search so that we might identify and be led toward a relationship with Jesus Christ. Job’s story is our story. His yearning is our yearning. His needs are our needs — not to be free of pain and discomfort, but to see God face to face and find our answers in Him.

“ For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven …” — II Corinthians 5:1–2
 
Easter Sunday Reflections on a Dark and Holy Saturday

Posted on a Saturday night, years ago, with a call that perpetually continues into Sunday and Monday.

Incarnational embodiment of the missional cross-call of Jesus requires a movement through the laments of Saturday and a daily dying to again take up the cross of the burdens of suffering humanity.

There is no room for an ethic of self-preservation and self-satisfaction at the cost of the marginalized, the wounded, the sinner, or those who most represent that ugliness from which we most desperately hide our eyes.

It demands that we seek to hear the voices of those whose attitudes and arguments we believe we have processed and refuted.

It is a call to stand beside the discredited, the disenfranchised, the disinherited, and yes, the disrespectful as well as the disrespected.

It requires of those who would follow Jesus, something more.

We cannot be satisfied to be right.

We cannot be comfortable that we are justified, sanctified, verified, certified, or codified in the validity of our positional righteousness.

We must step into the sorrow of another and go beyond what is expected.

We must become vulnerable enough to stand beside those whose presence may place us in danger of being misunderstood and maligned.

Our chief identification on this earth must be with whom Jesus sympathized, empathized, and called to be brothers and sisters. We must stand with compassion before the Syro-Phoenician, the leper, the tax collector, the adulterer, the demoniac, the Samaritan, the woman of questionable standing, the enemy centurion, and unclean woman with an issue of blood — the hungry, imprisoned, poor, and naked — the company of beloved souls, the lost and found of the Kingdom of God.

It is a bias of the highest order and the most radical sort.

It is the demand of discipleship, the cost paid by one crucified between two thieves to enter into the dark realms of death and lead captivity captive.

Despised, rejected, and defiled and we ask to be excused in favor of a more respectable, dignified, and comfortable religion.

And what of truth telling?

I have nothing to say to my neighbor from afar that is worth saying or hearing.

But if I stand with him or her and can look into that one’s eye, soul to soul, there is no truth I cannot speak in love. And if I weep over my neighbor, my neighbor can hear and perhaps, receive.

We are called to have the mind of Christ, the compassion of Christ in these closing hours of Dark Saturday as we lament and sit and wait through the Requiem of supreme sacrifice.

Amen.

 
Visiting with Peter in the Vortex of Time, Looking Backward, Inward, Forward.

Before the rooster crows,
three times thou wilt deny.
Three times you’ll disavow my name
and swear by earth and sky.
Three times, not one or two or three,
you’ll vow we’ve never met
Three times you’ll protest, shout, and curse,
three times, three times, and yet …

And yet I know your love is real
as real as fear, and as this night.
I know that you’ll return to me.
I know you’ll see the light.

I know these things and know know them deeply
and you were meant to follow.
But this is the pill of bitter pain
that you must somehow swallow.

Three times you will deny me now
though now you vow to stay the course.
I know that you believe your strength
but this you cannot win by force.
Three times you’ll drink the cup of failure
and choke upon its grief.
The cock will crow and you will weep
But there will come a moment of relief.

I will meet you in a morning
when your head is hung in shame.
I’ll meet you by the seashore
and you will call my name.

I’ll meet you where your pain meets mine
and walk the miles with you once more.
I’ll ask you once again, my friend,
“Do you love me, like you said before?”

This time, Peter, don’t you know
that love is calling ever stronger?
It calls the servant who feeds the sheep.
It calls to walk a little longer.

Three times you nodded, “No. No. No.”
Though just before you were so brave.
Today I tell you, “Go. Go. Go.”
Your “yes” will take you to a grave.
But you will go, though bound and tied
to bear a cross in a distant place.
You choose the path for you choose me.
I go with you … No more disgrace.

 

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