Good morning all!
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. 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 that the tomb 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.
In the Jesus story, nothing happens today. Right after Jesus takes his last breath, Joseph goes to collect the body and they set ritual around his body. The night before, the disciples scatter while Joseph prepare Jesus for the tomb. The women stand by and do their best even though they are crying and can’t believe what has become of this story. The night before, people have chanted and Jesus cried out. The night before, he died much earlier than anyone expected. And then night before, he was a common criminal.
But not today…today everything is quiet. He is laid in a secure tomb and Matthew tells us that guards are stationed there to make sure that no one takes the body because of what Jesus had said about rising. Today there is only silence. The women wait because tomorrow they will return to surround Jesus with more ritual. But today, everything is too quiet. Everything just sits and mourns.
Sometimes in the midst of grief, drama, and mourning we need to just be. Oftentimes, if someone has put much drama into a situation where it doesn’t belong, I don’t climb into the urgency with them, I realize that my job is to just make sure they are breathing. Just be. Just be quiet for a bit before addressing what else is going on.
I love this quote about what the quiet can do for us…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps the huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of frightening ourselves with death.
~ Pablo Neruda
Quiet and silence can do so much in realizing who we are to our core. It is hard for me to keep silence and move through the day and yet most of the time I am glad that I went there. Today let a moment of quiet and silence be your prayer. Relish in God’s quiet and stillness. Amen.