Lenten Reflection of the Day
Saturday, April 19 Lenten Reflection
Good Friday, April 18, 2014
It is now Good Friday. The journey of Lent is nearly over, but not before we travel with Jesus through today, the darkest of days. Can we slow down for one day and go through it in real time?
Imagine yourself as one of Jesus' followers, or one of his family members, there and then, and then follow him throughout the day. Follow the crowd into the courtyard. Smell the adrenaline. Listen to the crowd taunt and jeer. Hold his mother. Allow yourself to imagine what his followers thought and felt:
Why won't he defend himself?
Why won't he show he is the Son of God?
Why won't he DO SOMETHING?
Maybe everything is lost.
Maybe everything he said and did is in vain.
To do so is not to lose faith, but to face our human weakness and fear when we do not see any way forward. God will answer all of our questions and doubts, but not in ways any of us could have asked or imagined.
In Christ, God empties God's self on the cross. Those who were faithful to him must have felt utterly emptied out as well. Their expectations of Jesus, their expectations of God's very self, died on the cross too. We are invited today to sit with them in that death, and to be emptied out ourselves.
At times we must be completely emptied out before God's light and life can fully enter us again. The glorious light will certainly come in time. But today is a day to go dark, and, until tomorrow evening, imagine a world where we think Christ is not present. By feeling the darkness and emptiness and praying through it in community, the light will be that much brighter when it finally dawns again.
The Rev. Elizabeth M. Hoster, Rector
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Holy Saturday, April 19, 2014
“You could hear the silence,” my husband said to me as he described the setting of his childhood home. Tucked up into the hills outside of San Diego, it was remote enough that the absence of sound became a physical sensation, and at night he knew when someone was approaching by car because their headlamps threw light up the canyon walls across the valley.
Imagine that sort of darkness; imagine that sort of silence. So quiet and so dark that you can perceive the coming of one miles away in the dark.
This is the silence of Holy Saturday – this strange time between the empty cross and the empty tomb. This is the time of shell-shocked disciples, wondering, “What now?” and of women impatient to tend to the body. Even though daylight surrounds, they are in a deep darkness.
This day is the feast day for every moment and circumstance in our lives where the seeming silence of God is so pronounced that we can hear it; where the darkness of unknowing and fear is so deep that even a headlamp, miles away, is a blaze of light.
Holy Saturday is the invitation, the reminder, to rest into that darkness, that silence, when it comes.
With Jesus’ crucified body -- silence and darkness in the midst of daylight --we wait.
The Rev. Lisa E. Hackney
Priest-in-Charge, St. Alban’s, Cleveland Heights
Associate Rector, St. Paul's, Cleveland Heights
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