40 Day Journey with Our Neighbors in Solidarity
Week 6: Lutheran Campus Ministry (LuMin)
Written By: Pastor Cassandra Lamb, University Lutheran Center at SDSU
Scripture: John 19:38-42
On Saturday we wait…and wait…and wait. Really, there is no Scripture that is fitting of Holy Saturday, this day of silence. I imagine the silence on that first Holy Saturday was palpable. After all, the first followers didn’t know (even though Jesus had told them over and over and over again) what would come bursting forth from that tomb the next day. We, as post resurrection people, know that resurrection indeed comes in the morning. Yet, I think we are remiss if we don’t just wait, watch, and ponder amidst the silence here for just a little while on this Day of Preparation. Don’t get too busy focusing on the preparation task list for tomorrow. Instead wait.
Students are all too familiar with this waiting, as well. They wait for college acceptance letters, roommate assignments, and scholarship notifications. They wait for syllabi, to know just how difficult their classes will be for the semester. They wait for auditions and tryouts. They wait in lines for food in the dining hall and to use showers in dormitories. They wait for a break from the stresses of class. And then after enough time away they wait for the end of breaks to return to their friends. They wait for internship placements, student teaching assignments, and job offers. They wait.
Of course, they are not the only ones who know what it is like to wait. We all know waiting well. When was the last time you waited? In the past year I have waited for the phone call that my grandma had taken her last breath, waited for a new call as pastor, waited for phone calls of medical test results, waited for toilet paper to be available at the store, waited to worship inside of the church building again, waited for my sourdough bread to rise, waited for those who are high risk around me to be vaccinated, and waited for my toddler to return to sleeping through the night. At the time of writing, some of these things are still on the actively waiting list. Aside from our personal waiting, this past year has also been filled with a collective sense of waiting. We are all waiting to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror and return to some sense of normalcy. All that is to say, we are all keenly aware of what it feels like to wait.
The Lenten journey (in a time without COVID-19) typically begins with ashes on our foreheads. Those ashes have journeyed with us through this season. They have grounded us in this time of waiting. Yet, because of this crucifixion, because of this tomb, because of this day of waiting, we no longer need to fear for what tomorrow will bring. Instead we wait, in sure and certain hope of tomorrow, resurrection day.
God, you hold all time in your hand. We are waiting. In this life we wait for many and various things, yet today’s waiting is unlike any other. Today we wait for you. We wait for the reminder that you are the one who has the ultimate ability to make all things new. We wait for you to bring life out of death, once again. Be with us in our waiting and show us the way to the tomb tomorrow morning. Amen.
Our funeral liturgy includes these words at the committal, “In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to almighty God our beloved, and we commit their body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” How does this promise impact your waiting time on earth?
Prayerfully play in the dirt while thinking of all the things you have waited for in your life. When you are finished praying and playing mark the topsoil with a cross or a rock as a visual reminder of the promise we receive through Jesus’s cross and empty tomb.