Click the above icon for a PDF of this document.
SATURDAY, APRIL 11th, 2020
Gospel of Luke 23:50-56 Gospel of Matthew 27:62-66
Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had
not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was
waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of
Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no
one had ever been laid. It was the day of preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath, they rested according to the commandment. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise, his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
The body of the rabbi who had no place to lay his head was buried by a wealthy man named Joseph from Arimathea. Matthew names him among Jesus’ disciples (27:57). This is the only mention of this man. Throughout history, the Way of Jesus movement has seen tens of millions of unnamed persons – poor, middle class and wealthy – collaborating in acts of service, compassion and kindness to serve God by serving the needs of others. Joseph of Arimathea gave to Jesus his own tomb. How many people had thought about Jesus’ need for a tomb? Joseph – the name of the man who held Jesus first and laid him in a manger – is also the name of the man who held Jesus last and laid him in a tomb. One Joseph wrapped a newborn infant in swaddling clothes. The other Joseph wrapped a lifeless body in a linen shroud.
What do you hear when you enter prolonged silence? Does confusion dissipate? Does clarity emerge?
There are essentially four kinds of risk:
The risk one must accept for it is built into reality;
The risk one can afford to take;
The risk one cannot afford to take; The risk one cannot afford not to take.
(Peter Drucker, in Managing for Results)
God of all exiles, martyrs, innocents, prisoners, hostages, victims, refugees, lonely, afraid, confused, forgotten, betrayed, suffering, hungry, thirsty, sick, dying, feeble, frail, healthy and free, You promise to never leave us alone or abandon us. Today, practicing physical distancing, we feel helpless as thousands die every day with COVID-19. Like the ancients who wept due to collapsed dreams, estrangement from the familiar and smoldering ashes of hope, we sit at home between Friday’s darkness and Sunday’s dawn. There are no hymns written for today. Or, are all hymns written for today? Are all hymns to be sung on days in between? Speak to us, Living God, of gifts not yet revealed and of sunrises just over the horizon of darkness. AMEN
“The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside.”
(Dag Hammarskjold, in Markings)