Written by Jolene DeHeer
(Written Saturday, April 11 2020. Published, April 13, 2020)
I am writing this blog on the day we tend to skip over during Holy Week.
Thursday many participated in Tenebrae services and listened as Jesus gave instructions for communion. We listened to His passionate prayers in the garden and the harsh voices of the soldiers and leaders as He was arrested and tried.
On Friday we listened as Jesus said, “It is finished!” and we were awed and amazed by the depth of Christ’s love that enabled Him to endure betrayal, mocking, scourging, and an excruciating crucifixion.
Tomorrow we will celebrate with great joy and gratitude as we sing songs of praise and thanksgiving in worship of the risen Lord.
But today…today is Saturday and all seems silent.
I can only imagine the thoughts and questions that must have filled the disciples minds that Saturday: “How could this happen? Wasn’t He the promised Messiah? What will our future be like?” And the emotions that must have overwhelmed them: disappointment, fear, anxiety, intense grief. There they were in that small room. Isolated from the rest of the city. Clinging to each other. Praying for a revelation or a word from God to give them hope.
But Saturday was silent.
Perhaps, like me, this Covid 19 pandemic puts you more in touch with those feelings than any other year. The virus is rampant around the world. Death tolls rise. Millions of people are experiencing not only loss of life, but of livelihoods as jobs disappear and the economy dries up. Loneliness, depression, mental illness, and domestic abuse are on the rise. How could this have happened? Where is our Messiah in all of this? What does the future hold?
Unlike the disciples, we can’t even gather for mutual support. We are grateful for electronic ways to try to keep community, but it’s not the same. We are crying out for God to reveal His power and provide a vaccine to stop the spread and devastation of the virus. Our whole being is yearning for a word from God so we can find hope.
The really good news is, on THIS Saturday between Friday and Sunday, God is NOT silent. He is speaking loud and clear from His Word!
As you are in the “Saturday time” of waiting out this pandemic, take some time and listen to the assuring, powerful, life-affirming, hope-giving word of God. When you are:
Feeling anxious: Isaiah 40:10; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6
Feeling fearful: Psalm 27:1-3; Psalm 34:4; 1 John 4:18
Feeling weak: Isaiah 40:31; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; Philippians 4:13
Needing hope: Romans 5:3-5; Colossians 1:27; 1 Peter 5:10
Needing Acceptance and love: Isaiah 43:1b-2; Isaiah 54:10; John 15:16
Feeling lonely: John 10:28; Romans 8:38-39; Hebrews 13:15
Dealing with sadness: Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 30:5; Psalm 126:5
Dealing with depression: Psalm 34:17; Psalm 40:1-3; Lamentations 3:22-24
Needing strength: Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 43:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 3:3
So, my friends, on this day between sorrow and joy, join me in praising God who is not silent – who offers hope. Listen: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)
For more hope read the whole chapter of Isaiah 43.