Holy Saturday Year A, April 15, 2017 Noon, The Rev. Anne Abdy
Today, Jesus is laid in the tomb. It is a solemn day. A deeply sobering moment in time as we commit the body of our Lord to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The starkness of a cleared table reminds us that the circle of life is complete—birth, life, and now death.
The time of the resurrection will come but now it is the time for tears. For the sobering reality of death as it penetrates our minds. The darkness of death will have meaning but for now the human mind cannot fathom it for before us lies the Lord, Son of God, the Christ, our Friend, Jesus—lifeless.
Death numbs our emotions. A vibrant life one day; a life lost the next. This radical preacher and rabbi—gone. Jesus is dead. The life force that moved across the oceans and across all creation, the Spirit that was breathed into Jesus is gone. The Son has breathed his last breath. We now live in a forced separation.
We stand before the tomb, in silence the spices spread and kneaded into the lifeless body. No one speaks. The ritual now complete, the embalming done. The sacred spices adorned. The Christ wrapped in a white linen is placed in the tomb by Joseph and Nicodemus, the source of the spices. We are the men and women of his Walk. We are the men and women of the Jesus movement. We are his trusted friends at the tomb. We stand in silence, respecting death before us.
We commend Jesus to Almighty God, and we commit his body to this earthly tomb. Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Hymn 173 O Sorrow deep! Who would not weep with heartfelt pain and sighing! God the Father's only Son in the tomb is lying. The Paschal Lamb, like Isaac's ram, in blood was offered for us, pouring out his life that he might to life restore us. Blessed shall they be eternally who ponder in their weeping that the glorious Prince of Life should in death be sleeping. O Jesus blest, my help and rest, with tears I pray thee, hear me: Now, and even unto death, dearest Lord, be near me.