Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Silent Day

The journey from Palm Sunday to Easter morning is filled with all kinds of scenes. Across the Gospel accounts we find several events that occupy the final week of Jesus earthly ministry. Interestingly there is a one day that we have absolutely nothing from, Saturday. The scriptures go right from Friday night and the burial of Jesus to the accounts of the resurrection. Why the silence?

I am sure part of the silence is the fact there is nothing to say. Jesus is dead, he is in the tomb and the followers are not sure what they are going to do. There is not much that can be said at that point. I often try to imagine what would have been going through the minds of the followers. They all gave up everything to follow Jesus with the hope that he was in fact the Messiah. He promised that after his death he would rise on the third day but it was only day two. Was Peter rehearsing his denial in the courtyard with great regret? Were the rest of them figuring out how to return to their previous lives? Simply, we do not know because there is only silence about the day in between.

The silence between the start of the promise and the completion of the promise can be the most deafening time we face. Jesus made it real clear how things were going to work. He would be arrested, beaten, crucified and would die. On the third day he would rise. The first part had happened and now the anxious waiting was well underway. In our journeys this happens all the time. God begins to make things different in our lives only to have times when it feels like nothing is happening. Almost as if there are times when God is silent. It is easy to lose heart in these times. During the silence it is easy to think God abandoned the plan and us. Many times we take matters into our own hands instead of waiting one more day. In our human effort we try to complete what only the power of God can accomplish. The results of this effort often lead us to discouragement and anger toward God. If only we could be more comfortable with silence.

Silence is not the absence of God. What we hear as silence is often God speaking in another way. I have a hearing deficiency in my left ear. There are some frequencies that I simply cannot hear that others can no matter how loud the sound is. At the same time there are other frequencies I hear before others because my ear has become more tuned to those sounds. Depending on the frequency I might think there is silence when others hear screaming, or I might hear a murmur when others hear only silence.

It is not that God was silent between the cross and the resurrection, God is simply specking in a different way. Our task is to not be afraid of the silence and seek to hear what God is speaking. Not all, but many people have today as a day off. It will be filled with all kinds of activities to keep us busy through the day. Even if you have to work, I want to encourage us to take some time and listen to the silence. Seek and listen for what God is speaking to you in this in between time. The promise of life is well underway and tomorrow will bring the celebration of life. As for today, struggle in the silence and find God in a new way.

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