Farewell to fear

Holy Saturday, Year B

3 April 2021

Scripture: Lamentations 3:1-9,   John 19:38 – 42

Reading: “He has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; he has made me sit in darkness like the dead of long ago.” (Lamentations 3:5-6)

Reflection:In pre-pandemic times, today would be characterized by our joyful communal anticipation of the Easter feast as we gather in person to kindle the new fire that lights the Paschal candle.  We would recall God’s mighty works and remind ourselves that although darkness and light, sin and justice, death and life continue to be in fierce contest, the victory is assured as God can never and will never lose sovereignty over His creation. 

Lamentations paints a vivid portrait of a people, not too unlike today’s beleaguered Jamaicans, who, as a consequence of irresponsibility have lost much of their natural joie-de-vivre and are about to lose their faith. Our reading – the third of five poems acclaimed to be written by Jeremiah, is a poignant record of suffering and loneliness. This is not unrelated to or unlike the feelings of those who, seeking to escape the dreaded virus, go into isolation, separated from each other and from public worship and fellowship.

To all who feel fearful, whether the Israelites of old, the early disciples, or us who now struggle with confusion and anxiety, the Holy Saturday scriptures proclaim that God creates from chaos, that God provides, that God makes a way out of no way.  In addition, as we recall the events that we commemorate over this weekend, we remind ourselves that our access to hope is through Jesus Christ. His Spirit lifts us to live above and beyond fear and gives us hope; for God’s mercies are never spent. Like the sunshine, they are new every morning.

 In today’s twilight, hope may evade our grasp, but tomorrow, with the two men in dazzling raiment, hope confidently declares that Jesus is risen; with the women, loudly proclaims that He is alive and present among us.  Hope lifts us up, emboldened and invigorated to run with Peter to live triumphantly in the glory of Easter.

Meditation:  Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

                      (Desmond Tutu)

Prayer:           Lord, should fear and anguish roll, darkly o’er my sinful soul,

Thou, Who once was thus bereft that Thine own may ne’er be left.

Teach me by Thy bitter cry in the gloom, to know Thee nigh.  

(CPWI Hymnal # 161)

The St. Jude’s Writers

St. Jude’s Church

Stony Hill

Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands

3 April 2021