Saturday

11 04 2009

Today has been a day of silence. It is as if the city has sunk in its shame. It is the Sabbath, the day of rest, but we aren’t resting. We are in anguish and turmoil. I sat listening to some of the others earlier, silent for most of the time but every now and then breaking out in self-justification, all that is except Peter and Judas.  Judas, of course, is dead. There were one or two, “How could he?” comments but mostly we all feel so bad about ourselves that none of us feels like pointing a finger. Peter has just disappeared. I think the guilt of his actually denying the Master has almost destroyed him, but I want to say to him that we’re all the same. In one way or another, we all denied the Master.

It may be that it’s because it is the Sabbath, but the city seems strangely quiet. When we’ve looked out, there seem few people around even though there are hundreds of thousand here for the Feast. I think the events of the past week have been so contrasting that there is a feeling of anticlimax. A week ago Jesus was being welcomed into the city like a conquering king. A week later the king is dead. A week ago our hopes and dreams of freedom from the Romans carried us away. Today those hopes and dreams are dead.

Our women sit around red-eyed and every now and then further sounds of sobs are heard. The men are mostly silent, just sitting there, too afraid to go out, but too fearful to look at each other. A week ago anything was possible; now nothing is possible. There is no future. What will we all do? Who cares!

We sit there and unsuccessfully try not to let the images of the past two days run again and again through our minds. I keep hearing the baying of the crowd madly egged on by the fanatical hatred of the so-called religious authorities. I hear the screams of the thieves as they are nailed to wood. I see the silence of my Master as they set his body in the most terrible of execution processes that mankind has ever devised. His silence was awful. From his lips had come such wonderful words of wisdom and of life over these past three years, but now they are silent. He was like a lamb being led to the slaughter. I hear the jeering of the crowds that had turned against him, and I remember my own silence, and I weep.

Somewhere out there in the grave area outside Jerusalem, in a new tomb is a cold, lifeless body of one who had been so warm and so full of life that it overflowed to all those who came to him. But now the life has gone. Now there is no hope. We are a condemned human race! What awful things will God do to us for this two day’s work? Yes, I know, most of the world hasn’t a clue what has happened but if they had been here, they’d have been the same; we’re all the same. We may like to kid ourselves that we are better than the next person, but these two days have laid that lie to rest. Instead of receiving this light and rejoicing in the wonder of the days that we were privileged to be part of, we snuffed out the light. We prefer darkness to light for the light shows us up for who we really are. On this awful Saturday we sit in silence and try not to think – but we do.

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