Friday, April 6, 2012

Holy Week - Saturday

Today’s Scriptures:

Psalm 95, 88, 27

Lamentations 3:37-58

Hebrews 4:1-16

Romans 8:1-11

Today’s Question:

How do we escape the despair of separation from God that we sometimes feel?

Today’s Reflection:

Today we wait from the pit.

 

Holy Saturday is perhaps the darkest day in the Christian faith as we read through the scriptures that commonly tell of our separation from God. Christ is in the grave. Our hopes are dashed.

 

Psalm 95 repeats from Good Friday as a Psalm of both joy and caution – a time of coming together into worship and warning about maintaining our relationship with God. Following it comes Psalm 88 which goes with us into the pit of despair and fear that God has forgotten us completely as sometimes happens when we find God’s voice quiet – or our ears closed. Psalm 27 offers us a glimmer of hope as the psalmist reminds us that God will not stay separated from us. Verse 13 turns its focus to Heaven and eternal life, just as we are promised heaven and an eternity with God.

The Lamentations passage, appropriate to the name, gives us a vision of complete separation from God. Verses 43 & 44 describe a situation so dire, prayers cannot even penetrate the barriers of separation God with which God surrounds himself. This level of despair must have been how those closest to Jesus felt on Saturday in that void between death and resurrection.

The epistle passages present the choice that we have to accept or reject a relationship with God. In Hebrews the author focuses on rest in God with the Sabbath as a focus while the Romans author presents the choice of living in the flesh or in the spirit. Both focus on the choice we have to accept or reject God and the consequences that come with it.

Today we concentrate on despair knowing that tomorrow brings joy. While every passage today recounts some degree of separation from God, every passage also leads us to the hope of reconciliation with God, affirming that he desires the relationship with us.

Today’s Prayer:

Let us consider despair and turn that into a growing, strengthening relationship with you, God, as you seek to draw nearer to us.