Devotional – Monday, April 20, 2020

Easter dawns regardless of whether we can gather in church or not. The whole world is hiding indoors, just like the Disciples after Jesus was taken down from the cross. “First there was Friday. . . then there was Sunday.” On Maundy Thursday, we remember the first thing that Jesus did at the meal with His friends – he washed their feet. He said (Told them and us), “Be a servant to all.” Next came Friday when He stood silent before those who condemned Him to death – and He suffered flogging, a crown of thorns, scorn, and, finally, being nailed to a cross. Because of His fatigue, He died before the sun set (and the earth shook in outrage.) Then on Saturday, the disciples hid behind a locked door, afraid they might share Jesus’ fate.

I watched Jesus Christ Superstar on Easter Sunday. Andrew Lloyd Webber stops at death. Jesus cries out for God to let Him out of His commission to the world, but finally accepts His Father’s will. His death is His mission to earth; Webber (like an early version of the Gospel of Mark) stops there.

If we stopped there, we would be hopeless – just like the disciples on (Holy) Saturday. It seems to me to be the Shadow of Death Saturday.

Do you believe in Easter?

The poet, Wendell Berry, urges us to practice resurrection. What difference does resurrection make in how we live? How we interact with our work, school, world? How does resurrection change our view of life? our living of our days? Here is another poem by Berry:

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. 

There is a Dark Saturday = endless night, but then then a New Day Dawns! Practice Resurrection!

Offered by Rev. Dr. Frank Johnson

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