Holy Saturday: April 7                                

Lamentations 3.1-9,19-24

I am one who has seen affliction under the rod of God’s wrath;

he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light;

against me alone he turns his hand, again and again, all day long.

He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones;

he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation;

he has made me sit in darkness like the dead of long ago.

He has walled me about so that I cannot escape;

he has put heavy chains on me;

though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer;

he has blocked my ways with hewn stones,

he has made my paths crooked.

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall!

My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in him.”

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            It is one of those times: life is a grizzly lying in wait for me; wolves, red eyes glaring, circle for the kill.

            My teeth grind on gravel; my dreams are a scream in the night—but mostly sleep does not come and I am lost, at 3:00 a.m., in darkness without light. The hard grip of God’s wrath breaks my bones; my burning flesh wastes away. I am walled off from life; my weakened legs walk a wobbly line. I shout my lamentations! Even my prayers are shut out.  The hand of God has been turned against me and I sit in the darkness of the dead.

 

            Even there I have hope.

 

            The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.

In the bone snap of God’s wrath,

God’s mercies do not an end.

In the silent, empty dark

God’s mercies I see.

They are new every morning.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

“Therefore I will have hope in my God!”

Rev. Dr. Larry Grimes

Bethany College

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