Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sealed in Stone

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, `After three days I will rise again.' Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, `He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception would be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can." So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
Matthew 27:57-66

There is sometimes nothing to do but wait. And waiting can make many people anxious. I am not blessed with the gift of patience but I have grown more patient over time. Today, is a day when we wait for Easter. We know it is coming but we cannot do anything more than to prepare our hearts, and to be ready when the stone has been rolled away and love is alive again.

The authorities were anxious. They suspected a plot and further retaliation from Jesus' crowd. They called him the impostor. They remember his words of promise and took them as a political threat. So they sent guards to a tomb, to watch and wait in order to protect their authority, their power and their position. How often do we as humans fight with all our strength to protect what we have - position, wealth, authority and power? And how rarely do we recognize that all of these are gifts from God? We are invited in our waiting to dwell in the darkness of the sealed and guarded tomb, reflecting on our powerlessness and God's mighty love for us all.

Today I ask God to help me to stay still and trust the power of God's love. Those things which we cannot control, may we release in prayer. May we do the service we can today, offering our lives in thanksgiving for God's many blessings. And may we rest in our waiting, knowing that love will rise again and remove all the stones and barriers from true life.

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