God Redeems the Silent and Dark Places

As a pastor, I largely overlooked Holy Saturday as an essential part of the divine drama of Holy Week. It was a welcomed day of rest after the intensity of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday.

Not this year! This year the silence and darkness between Friday’s crucifixion and Sunday’s resurrection speaks poignantly to where I am.

Within the last six months I’ve lost my wife of 58 years and an older brother, plus a beloved bishop friend, and two colleague/mentors. Treasured voices have been silenced and the places they occupied have become a dark void.

Added to the void is the isolation of a global pandemic. The wait for release from imposed aloneness is more than three days! We don’t know when it will end. When it does end, life will be different; but the shape of that difference remains unknown.

So, I identify more closely with the disciples on that first Holy Saturday. They were locked behind closed doors. Grieving! Afraid! Lonely! Confused! Apprehensive! Waiting!

Death creates silent and dark places for all of us. All losses are accompanied by silence and darkness.

Life itself is filled with unanswered questions, unfulfilled dreams, unwelcomed loneliness.

It is into all those silent and dark places that Christ enters on Holy Saturday. The ancient creed affirms that Jesus “descended to the dead” and “the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead” (1 Peter 4:6).

In the death of Jesus, God has claimed even the silent and dark places as realms of divine love and promise.

On that first Holy Saturday, the disciples were together in their silence and darkness.

We, too, are together emotionally even though physically separated. It is in our togetherness that God comes in our silent and dark places.

The author of 1 Peter offered this word of encouragement as we wait in silence and darkness: “Above all, maintain constant love for one another.”

Love speaks in the silence and shines light in the darkness!

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “God Redeems the Silent and Dark Places

  1. Blessing on you, dear friend . . . even on Easter day, his followers were fearful, hiding, isolated, sort of like us! BUT we’re grateful that we know “the rest of the story.,” and pray EASTER JOY fills you, even in grief and isolation. Love to you from Ray and me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pastor Ken, your sorrow regarding your recent loss of loved ones struck home with me, since I suffered similar losses just a few years ago: in a single year (2012) I lost my sister, a cousin with whom I was close, and my loving wife of 52 years. My world was changed, radically, and temporarily I was devastated. But eventually I realized that HOPE remains ours thru the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we celebrate today! Your closing sentence says it all: “Love speaks in the silence and shines light in the darkness!”

    Liked by 1 person

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