I am contributing to some devotionals at my church and thought I would share my devotional for Holy Saturday. Happy Easter!
Scripture: Matthew 27:57-66, Psalm 22
Years ago, my walk with Christ plummeted into a bleak valley. One where I scrambled around begging for normalcy of my happy Christian stroll again. But, it was in that dark season (or era…it seems much longer than a season) when I discovered a deeper reverence of my Lord. The valley offered a dependency on holy rhythms, not because they made me happy again, but because they gave me purpose as I crawled along the valley floor. The rhythm of prayer, worship, writing a novel’s messy first draft—these motions shaped my grief and carried me along an undulating valley walk, just as we see the psalmist write about in Psalm 22. With my focus on a Savior I could not see in the darkness, my rhythms carried me through the implosion of anguish, the soberness of reaffirmation, the cry of supplication, and finally the praise and future hope in our God.
At first glance, I see Joseph of Arimathea in Matthew 27:57-66 as this great noble man—steady in his deed for Jesus. He was greater than I could ever be. Joseph seemed to go through the motions of an honorable burial without any emotion. However, I wonder if Joseph of Arimathea was depending on holy rhythms too? After all, he was another disciple of Christ. He knew Christ face to face. How could he not be moved by his horrific death? In the darkness of Friday’s outcome, Joseph found purpose to continue on in honor of his Savior—even in the grim rhythm of burial. It was all he could do. It was a valley rhythm that kept him close to Christ, even when the light had been snuffed out. Did Joseph’s heart also cried out the anguish, soberness, praise, and future hope of Psalm 22 as he buried Jesus? How could it not?
In a way, this pandemic has drawn me into another valley. I am sure all of us can relate. There is a darkness in not knowing what is next. The first days of quarantine were overwhelming for me—just like my season long ago, just like the grief of the psalmist. But, even though we don’t know the end of this pandemic valley walk, we know the end of the psalm. There is a future hope of God in all His glory—He is with us in the darkness, He has given us holy rhythms, and the Light will indeed shine again.