Prayer

For Holy Saturday – a day of waiting

O God of the living, on this day your Son our Savior descended to the place of the dead: Look with kindness on all of us who wait in hope for liberation from the corruption of sin and death, and give us a share in the glory of the children of God; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

While We Wait

Holy Saturday | April 11, 2020

Job 14:1-14 • Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16 • 1 Peter 4:1-8 • Matthew 27:57-66

Matthew 27:57-66 New Living Translation (NLT)

57 As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had become a follower of Jesus, 58 went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. 59 Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. 60 He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left. 61 Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb and watching.

62 The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. 63 They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ 64 So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.”

65 Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” 66 So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.


O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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O God of the living, on this day your Son our Savior descended to the place of the dead: Look with kindness on all of us who wait in hope for liberation from the corruption of sin and death, and give us a share in the glory of the children of God; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.  Amen.

In Silence We Wait

Holy-SaturdayJob 14:1-14 •  Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16  •  1 Peter 4:1-8  •  Matthew 27:57-66

So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:1-8 | New Living Translation (NLT)


Last night we had a powerful Good Friday service.  The service ends as we hear these words: We hope for the dawning of a new day. We hope for God to bring newness out of endings.  But today…Go home.  There is nothing more to see.  Jesus is dead.

They are strange words to say and yet without those words “Jesus is dead” we are without hope.  So many are quick to jump to the resurrection.  We are uncomfortable with a dead Jesus…but for his disciples…can you imagine…remember it was Sabbath – a very Holy Sabbath because it was the Passover – they were good Jewish people – they couldn’t do anything because of the Sabbath…nothing to do but contemplate the events of the last 24 hours.  Perhaps they remembered Jesus’ words while He was here, but perhaps – especially Peter – they weren’t so sure…remember Peter had denied Jesus three times.  How was it like to wait, when you had denied your best friend?

So today we wait in silence, but while we do, let’s meditate on Peter’s words:

Peter reminds us in his letter to the church, that Jesus suffered physical pain and we are to have the same attitude that Jesus had.  I wonder if Peter wasn’t recalling the words to the ancient hymn found in Philippians 2.  Peter tells us that if we suffer with Christ – we too will be finished with sin. Christ’s work on the cross paid the penalty for our sin.  Because of the work done there we no longer have to live in sin…but we should be anxious to do the will of God – to glorify him – to enjoy him forever.

We are also reminded that when we do that – especially those who are transformed by the work of Christ – that our friends won’t understand.  What do you mean you can’t do those things you used to do?  They won’t understand. They will slander you.

Today is Holy Saturday – today we wait in silence…what will you do with Jesus today?

Holy Saturday

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O God, Creator of heaven and earth:  Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy Saturday

Holy-SaturdayHoly Saturday (April 15, 2017)


1 Peter 4:1-8 | New Living Translation (NLT)

So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.


Today we wait in the darkness…Some will be quick to jump to the resurrection…and that is coming…the Easter Vigil begins at sundown today…but for now…we.wait.  Waiting is so hard and yet for the disciples, it was the Sabbath – a very special Sabbath, being that it was the Passover.  No travel was allowed. So, the disciples had to wait right there in Jerusalem. Wait in fear of being arrested…wait to find out what would be next.  Nothing to do but wait and think.

This will be a shorter devotional, because I believe the scripture speaks for itself.  Because of what Christ has done for us…because Christ suffered for us…we should expect to suffer. Peter quotes Paul’s words in that we should have the same attitude that Jesus had and if he suffered, we should suffer.  Peter even goes on to say that if we have suffered with Christ, we are finished with sin.  If we are suffering for Christ, we aren’t chasing after our own desires.  If we are suffering with Christ, we are anxious to do the will of Christ and not our own.  Interesting thought and not part of the popular teaching that you would hear in many American churches today.

Peter tells us to forget the wild past – it’s in the past – yes it will sometimes hurt, but it is in the past, it is no longer part of our lives.

What is most important on this day that we wait?  Live forever with God in the Spirit…be earnest and disciplined in your prayers…continue to show deep love for each other…for love covers a multitude of sins.  

Holy Saturday

Holy-SaturdayO God, Creator of heaven and earth:  Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In Silence…We Wait

tombWaiting….Let’s face it.  Not many of us like to wait.  This last year has been a waiting year for us.  We are uncomfortable with waiting.  It’s been interesting to watch my Facebook feed.  Even yesterday, some were already fast forwarding to tomorrow – the celebration of the resurrection…but wait….just wait…yes…we know the end of the story – but let’s rewind back 2000 years ago.  The disciples did not know the end of this story.  Their leader – the one they had followed and learned from for three years had just been killed – crucified on a Roman cross and buried in a new tomb – with soldiers guarding it.  Look at the story found in today’s scripture reading from Matthew:

As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had become a follower of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left. Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb and watching.

The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.”

Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.

So you see, the disciples were sort of the bad guys in this story.  The Pharisees had killed Jesus and they wanted to make sure that this trouble maker and his disciples were never heard from again.

I encourage you to check out this blog from my Facebook friend Cathy.  It has some additional thoughts about this day.

So, if you were one of the disciples, what would you have done the day after Jesus was crucified.  You really couldn’t do much – after all it was the Sabbath.  About the only thing you could do was take a nap or go to the temple or synagogue. Being that this was a Passover Sabbath – it was especially holy.  You couldn’t do anything – because the law said you couldn’t do anything — all you had time to do was thing about yesterday’s events – and fear for your lives that the officials didn’t come looking for you… and so you wait.

As I said at the beginning, we has humans, don’t like to wait.  Pam and I know this well from the last year.  It has been tough to wait out God’s story – It’s been tough to wait on God’s timing…We have wanted to fast forward – just like those who want to fast forward to the resurrection.  Perhaps it is too difficult to think about all that Jesus went through for us…and yet I like this pause in the story – Jesus is dead – even that is hard to write.  But for the disciples, they didn’t know part two of this story.- at least not yet.  So put yourself in the disciples sandals today—-and—-wait.  Pause….there will be time for celebration…but for now…just…wait.

I’ve used this song as an Advent song – but this is very appropriate for today as we wait.

Scriptures for Holy Saturday

tomb1largeHoly Saturday (March 26, 2016)

  • First reading
    • Job 14:1-14
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16
  • Second reading
    • 1 Peter 4:1-8
  • Gospel
    • Matthew 27:57-66

Job 14:1-14 | New Living Translation (NLT)

“How frail is humanity!
    How short is life, how full of trouble!
We blossom like a flower and then wither.
    Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.
Must you keep an eye on such a frail creature
    and demand an accounting from me?
Who can bring purity out of an impure person?
    No one!
You have decided the length of our lives.
    You know how many months we will live,
    and we are not given a minute longer.
So leave us alone and let us rest!
    We are like hired hands, so let us finish our work in peace.

“Even a tree has more hope!
    If it is cut down, it will sprout again
    and grow new branches.
Though its roots have grown old in the earth
    and its stump decays,
at the scent of water it will bud
    and sprout again like a new seedling.

“But when people die, their strength is gone.
    They breathe their last, and then where are they?
As water evaporates from a lake
    and a river disappears in drought,
people are laid to rest and do not rise again.
    Until the heavens are no more, they will not wake up
    nor be roused from their sleep.

“I wish you would hide me in the grave
    and forget me there until your anger has passed.
    But mark your calendar to think of me again!
Can the dead live again?
    If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle,
    and I would eagerly await the release of death.


Psalm 31:1-4 | New Living Translation (NLT)

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
    don’t let me be disgraced.
    Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
    rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
    a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
    For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
    for I find protection in you alone.

Psalm 31:15-16

My future is in your hands.
    Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
Let your favor shine on your servant.
    In your unfailing love, rescue me.


1 Peter 4:1-8 | New Living Translation (NLT)

So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit.

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.


 

Matthew 27:57-66 | New Living Translation (NLT)

As evening approached, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea who had become a follower of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. And Pilate issued an order to release it to him. Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left. Both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb and watching.

The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body and then telling everyone he was raised from the dead! If that happens, we’ll be worse off than we were at first.”

Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it.


Prayer for Holy Saturday

Holy-SaturdayO God, Creator of heaven and earth:  Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

And So We Wait

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Last night we had a very powerful service…most times when you hear that, you think of very moving music – or the Holy Spirit showing up in ways you don’t expect – or perhaps there was a great musician or band…but this service was none of that.  It was a service of music and scripture…a Tenebrae service…Tenebrae is Latin for “darkness” or “shadows.” The service symbolizes the growing hopelessness in a world without Christ.  There were eight readings and with each reading and song, the sanctuary grew darker and darker and darker.  Finally, after the last reading – the sanctuary was completely dark, save for the light that was behind the cross.

During these moments we listened to Psalm 51 and then a piece from the King’s Choir called “Miserere Mei Deus” by Allegri.  It is a powerful piece of music as we recall Christ’s sufferings for us.

For me the most disturbing part of the service is the ending – which symbolizes the closing of the tomb.  As the tomb is closed – marked by a “great noise” the service is over and the worshipers file out quietly and in near darkness.  It really gives one pause to think, “What were the disciples thinking on that Friday after Jesus died?”  I know that we know the end of the story.  But they didn’t.

I liked the service – even with the disturbing ending – because so many times we are people who like to go from one celebration to another.  Most worshipers this week, will go from the celebration on Palm Sunday directly to the celebration tomorrow – without ever pausing — without ever waiting…waiting in the quiet…waiting in the darkness…maybe even hiding in the quiet…hiding, waiting in the darkness…….

And now we wait.  As the gospel song says, “Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior…waiting the coming day…” but for now we wait – join me in the waiting today!