Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 43; 149, Job 19:21-27a, Hebrews 4:1-16, Romans 8:1-11
How do you make use of “between” time like that spent on an airplane or a train between destinations, or during Sunday evenings when for practical purposes the weekend is over but the work week has not quite begun, or in the waiting room after you’ve watched a loved one rolled into surgery and the outcome is uncertain?
Some of us cope by filling those times with activity and finding comfort in productivity. Others use the time for quiet reflection, contemplation, or prayer. Still others take the opportunity to disconnect entirely, to quietly recharge like a fallow field awaiting the next season. None of these ways is right or wrong, but if we find ourselves in a particularly stressful “between” time, we may have trouble appreciating people who prefer to pass that time differently than we prefer. The one thing we have in common is the anticipation of a destination, even when we’re not sure where that destination might be.
“Between” times are particularly prone to stress when we don’t feel we have control over the outcome. A plane ticket has our chosen destination printed clearly on its face, but bypass surgery could end in a number of ways. After Christ’s crucifixion, the disciples found themselves waiting, but they didn’t know what for. Some fled. Some stayed in Jerusalem or nearby. A very few took his body to the tomb or later returned to prepare it for permanent burial.
What events are you between right now? Like the disciples, you may be struggling to understand how you have found yourself in this place, and wondering what happens next. During Lent we intentionally enter this space of waiting, but we know the destination. In everyday life, in the face of uncertainty, it isn’t usually a space where we want to linger.
If you can, take heart on this day of Vigil and know that in the waiting, in the tomb, in the world, something stirs. However you choose to endure, the God of the living moves in the darkness and will be revealed to you in the light. Dawn will come.
Comfort: God has not forgotten you.
Challenge: Attend an Easter Vigil service, or read this evening’s scripture for Easter Vigil.
Prayer: I wait for you, Lord. Always.
Discussion: What are you waiting for?
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