Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 45-April 11

Job 14:1-14
‘A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble,
comes up like a flower and withers,
flees like a shadow and does not last.
Do you fix your eyes on such a one?
Do you bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
No one can.
Since their days are determined,
and the number of their months is known to you,
and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass,
look away from them, and desist,
that they may enjoy, like laborers, their days.

‘For there is hope for a tree,
if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grows old in the earth,
and its stump dies in the ground,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth branches like a young plant.
But mortals die, and are laid low;
humans expire, and where are they?
As waters fail from a lake,
and a river wastes away and dries up,
so mortals lie down and do not rise again;
until the heavens are no more, they will not awake
or be roused out of their sleep.
O that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would conceal me until your wrath is past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
If mortals die, will they live again?
All the days of my service I would wait
until my release should come.

‘For there is hope for a tree,
if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.

This is the lamentation for this day. No wonder that people shy away from any more liturgy or religious observance, for it is almost too much to bear. And yet, is it any wonder that the Easter Vigil, with its quiet reminders of our baptism and the closeness of community that seems to happen in the darkest parts of the night would offer so much solace to those who would risk its observance? As you complete this Lenten journey—and indeed we have—we have arrived at the end of Lent—consider what are your spiritual responses to pain and suffering?
Where is your hope? Where is the release for which you are waiting?

O Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world. Here, in the darkest hour, you remind us that we are never alone. We cannot say thank you enough. Help us to speak words of gratitude. Always. Amen.

Flickr photo.

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