Another re-blog from The Daily Marinade, a daily devotional I contribute to regularly.
This is the time of waiting, the time of not-knowing, the time of awkward looks and sniffles, and ‘maybe we got it all wrong’. Jesus – the Messiah – dead and in a tomb.
The scriptures don’t say much about what happened that day. The days between passover and Jesus’ death are filled with details of each encounter. But in each of the gospels, the day of crucifixion ends with the women in Jesus’ life quietly noting where his body is laid. Luke says that they then went home to prepare ointment and spices, then rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.
I wonder what that ‘rest’ was like. I imagine it was not a pious sitting in silent meditation and oneness with God. Impatient shiftings, rustlings, sighs, sobs and a wringing of hands which cannot work or be distracted. The mind over-active, wondering, what? why? how? what now?
It seems to me that a violent and painful death of one’s loved leader and friend would be an unbearable burden for a quiet sabbath day, where the hands must be still and the work put aside. Before video games and facebook and TV could dampen the pain through distraction.
It seems to me, however, that this enforced waiting and contemplation is not an uncommon strategy used by God in calling us into deeper relationship.
Richard Rohr reminds us that:
The surrender of faith does not happen in one moment but is an extended journey, a trust walk, a gradual letting go, unlearning and handing over. No one does it on the first or even second try. Desire and longing must be significantly deepened and broadened.
Perhaps it was this gradual letting go, this desire and longing for something else, was what happened in the time between crucifixion and resurrection. This day of contemplation, of fully feeling the pain and horror and shock and grief with no possible distraction, was not an accident.
You can see where I am going with this. We cannot fully desire and see the resurrections in our own lives, in all the miraculous fulfillment of promise, without the rock bottom brokenness of our own crucifixions. It is really a mystery to me how in the discomfort and pain of sitting with broken dreams, terrible situations and impossible horrors that somehow our desire and longing for deeper relationship and connection with God emerges.
What is broken for you right now? Are you able to sit with it in painful sabbath waiting, with no distractions?
I pray, friend, that your patient waiting, your full experience of brokenness, your frustration and crucified dreams will dawn into a new day, where you might see the desire and longing of your heart fulfilled in the miraculous.