You wake, and the awful wave of remembering washes over you. It is as if it has happened all over again: the dying, the loss, the utter and unfathomable goneness of the beloved.
You want to be in motion. You want to flee, to hide, to fling yourself into anything that will distract you from the pain. You want to do anything but sit with your thoughts that overtake and overwhelm you. But there is nowhere you can go that this grief will not accompany you, clutching at you, propelling you into the labyrinth of loss that twists and turns you down its convoluted path.
How can it be that it has all come to this? How is it possible that the road has ended here, when until so recently it was about walking together, accompanying one another as you leaned into the dreams, the visions, the calling that had been given you?
Throughout his ministry, Jesus had been in nearly perpetual motion, always searching for the ones he came to serve. So how is it that we stand with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary in stunned stillness outside his tomb? How is it that the earth that quaked yesterday in rock-splitting outrage and grief can now so readily hold his body? After his astounding presence with us, how will we abide his absence?
Can it be that stillness is a journey too? Does waiting offer its own road, one that, instead of propelling us outward, spirals us inward? Is it possible that waiting is part of how a new way is made for us?
This Holy Saturday, I wonder how it might be for us to wait together, to breathe together. I wonder how it might be for us, in all the places we are, to enter into a shared stillness this day.
In the silence, in the stillness, in the sorrow, may we breathe the presence of peace.
This week’s readings take us through the depths but then into the eternal light. We walk each step with Jesus, who suffers betrayal, abandonment, and death in our place. But it is more than that. He also enters into the brokenness of our human condition and feels our pain, such that on the cross he even feels abandonment by God. He walks through the valley of the shadow of death because of God’s amazing, reckless love for us. This is the power of Holy Week. But that is not the end of the story. Jesus’ steps do not end at the cross, for he walks out of the tomb! Now we can follow in his steps and participate in his new life. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
• Read Psalm 70. What help do you need from God? from others?
• Read Isaiah 42:1-9. Where do you see signs of God’s work in the arena of justice? Where does Creation provide signs of restoration?
• Read John 12:20-36. As you ponder the reign of God in your midst, what images call to your mind God’s presence?
• Read John 20:1-18. When have you, in love, released the life expected in order to take up the life God intends for you?
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