Reflection by The Rev. Jan Kwiatkowski
This morning’s Gospel tells the story of Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus so that Jesus could have a proper burial. He rolled a great stone to close the door of the tomb and left. The two Marys sat outside the tomb and waited. While we know the outcome of Easter Day, Joseph, the two Marys, and all the rest must have been beyond devastated. They could not have known what was ahead. They only knew how the story seemed to end on Good Friday. Little did they know that the story would actually begin again on Easter Sunday. That time in between can be a horrible, hopeless and dark place. It’s tough to practice faithfulness when loss and ambiguity and anxiety are all around.
There are times in our lives and in our relationships where things happen, and there is a loss, ambiguity or anxiety. Maybe it’s a family disagreement over a real or perceived event. Maybe it’s a betrayal by an institution we trusted or company that employed us. Maybe it’s a death where we never got to make peace, or say goodbye. Maybe we did the best we could to restore the relationship, and the other person did not respond. Maybe we did not try and wish we had.
Not having closure is just hard. Not being able to make sense of things is just hard. Coming to terms with the fact that maybe we should have been the one to reach out and did not is just hard. But, it is all very human. That part of the story seems both closed- and open-ended all at the same time. A rockhas been placed outside the relationship tomb, and we wait outside, longing for an end we do not yet know.
The two Marys were at the tomb on Easter morning. We don’t know if they stayed and waited all night. We don’t know what they did while they waited. I’m guessing they cried, they were quiet, they told the stories over and over, they reviewed their parts in the Jesus story … and then they reached a point outside the tomb where all they could do was wait, and wait on God. I wonder if they knew and trusted that God waited with them?
If there is a situation, relationship, or time in your life that does not have a peaceful end or closure, know that God waits with you. Know that while you cry, and you go over the story, God waits with you. Know that when you are at the point where it all feels like a never-ending loss, God waits with you. Know that God is faithful in the midst of all the ambiguity, loss and anxiety. Know that what resurrection will look like is not in your hands, but that resurrection will come.
If you are like me, you are not always good at waiting. I think of Mr. Roger’s song for kids: “Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting.” That something to do could be prayer for ourselves and the situation or person, acts of service, or could be finding a safe person to talk to about it. It could be one more time of trying to reach out or maybe reaching out for the first time. It could be prayerfully letting go, knowing God will heal in God’s time. Whatever it is you do, God waits with you at the tomb, and the promise of resurrection is as real now as it was over 2,000 years ago.
Making It Personal:In whatever situation you find yourself waiting for some end, what is a kind and gentle thing you could do for yourself while you and God wait together?
Follow along with us this Lent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.