PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS

Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”


“At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden with a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.”
John 19:41,42.

Today someone will go into our sanctuary and get it ready for tomorrow. The black cloth on the cross will be replaced by a white cloth, the purple and black pulpit falls will be replaced with white Easter ones that say “Alleluia” and artificial flowers will turn the chancel into a garden.

We know the Resurrection is coming. Tomorrow morning, we will gather and declare, “Christ is risen!” But that is not always the case in our every day living. There are pauses of uncertainty and dread in human life; times we aren’t sure what the ending will be or what resurrection could mean.

In the weeks following a loved one’s death, we feel adrift. Time has been reset and we’re uncertain about what’s coming next. Who are we now without this person? Where is our courage in the face of so much gaping uncertainty and loss? We are in pain, we are grieving, we are lamenting.

Even in its sadness, the book of Lamentations calls us to have hope:  “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:21-22). God is love and even when we sit and wait in uncertainty, God’s love continues to be there for us always.

Holy Saturday marks the dreadful pause in history when Jesus was dead and Christ was absent, where uncertainty and grief held the reins. They still do, often, in human life. Dig dip and you will find courage. We don’t always know when or if Easter is coming, but God’s steadfast love holds us, whether we hope or despair, in life and in death.