Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 2: Grief

Read Day One: Betrayed here.

God gave clear instructions, to the Hebrew people, on the celebration of certain appointed feasts (Leviticus 23). Yesterday, known as Good Friday to us, was and is still, to the Hebrew people, the Feast of Passover. As the name implies, it is a day to commemorate, for all time, the very first passover which spared the lives of all under the blood (for more clarity, you could read the story in Exodus 12). It is to occur on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar.

Every. Single. Year.

At Easter time, this day is also known as The Last Supper. It was the meal Jesus and His disciples shared just a few short hours before His betrayal - what we would deem Thursday evening in our spectrum of Easter week, followed by Good Friday. To the Jews, since their day begins at sunset, the Passover began with the sharing of a a specific meal with Jesus and ended with Him hung on a cross. All in a span of less than 24 hours. In the year of Jesus death, their celebration of Passover was heavily tainted by the events of that day. Never had they seen a day like this. It may have started out in celebration but at the end of the day, no one was celebrating. Especially those to whom Jesus did life with.

Mary, his mother.

Mary Magdalene.

Jesus' brothers and sisters.

His disciples.

It really was finished and their close companion and friend was dead. And in only a few hours, the sun would set and the Feast of Passover would end and the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin. Because, day 14 is the Feast of Passover; day 15 is the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Every. Single. Year.

This is the day not mentioned anywhere in Scripture in the Easter story. The day after. The beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and a Sabbath too. This meant it was a day of rest. No working, just lots of time to think about the nightmare of all that just happened. The day where all who lived in close companionship with Jesus, were alone in their thoughts. He was gone. And even though there is not a single word in Scripture mentioning this day, it is not hard to imagine the devastation they felt. The grief that consumed them.

Picture for a moment how this day was for Jesus' mother? The rest of the family? What about Peter? He denied Christ three times and watched from a distance as they murdered his friend. Can you even imagine how he felt on the day after -the day unmentioned in Scripture? Maybe it's because no one was talking. The sounds of wailing and crying were all they heard. It was grief times ten and then some. Maybe, just maybe, the worse day of their lives. 

I can tell you from the depths of my heart and from much experience that grief is beyond words at times. may have its literal rendering...

 Grief - the keen mental suffering or distress of affliction over loss; sharp sorrow...

...but when you grieve, words like that mean little. I know because grief has consumed me for over a year. Grief has caused so much pain that some days I didn't want to get out of bed. And didn't. It has made my ability to swallow, literally, impossible at times. It has spurred on so many tears that I haven't just cried buckets, I've cried rivers. It has rendered me useless. It has caused my limbs to feel weak, my mind to feel foggy, my mouth to be dry, my smile to feel worn, my eyes to be dim, my feet to be slothful, my soul to feel empty. It has tried to be my best friend and companion and shut all others out. It has stolen thoughts and robbed me of emotional health. Experts say that grieving is natural and needed and it may very well be, but I say, it is tiring and hard and tiring and hard. Yes. I did just repeat myself because that is what it is. And I am tired.

And so today, I think about the day after. The day where many of Jesus' close friends and companions were alone and grieving. And I think about grief. Their grief. My grief. And how I want it to go away. 

I'm not really sure how that happens. Especially with all the betrayal from the one and the many. Because we are called, in Christ, to reconciliation, without it, grief remains.

Do you know what the synonym for reconcile is? Harmony. Or I think Scripture would call it unity in the Spirit.

I would have to say, again this may just tick some of you off, one of the biggest sources of my grief, in this past year, has been the lack of unity among believers in this trauma that has turned our lives upside down. The absence of the body of Christ to comfort us and share this heavy burden. Not just for me but for my family.  

How can it be that we want to win thousands for Christ but we don't even give life giving aid to the wounded soldiers in the army of God? We just leave them out in the field to fend off the enemy alone or just bleed to death. But hail evangelism! Get those people to church! Give shout outs to this program and the next event but don't cross the street to help out the beaten Samaritan.

It shouldn't be is what I am going to say. In Christ, it shouldn't be. We must rise up, people! The love of Jesus is on the line. Others are watching. Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34,35)

The lack of love from so many I did life with has nearly killed me. I am not trying to place blame or cause fights. But it is
grief times ten and then some for me. And like I said yesterday, I know that God is working in me too.  

It has been the day after for too long. Thank God tomorrow will be here soon.


Elise said...

Again, I love this. It's put so well in to words. Things you think and feel and hear. Tomorrow, to God, is different to us, and I do believe with you that "tomorrow" will be here soon :)

Jeanie Moslander Rhoades said...

Psalm 55...
It is not an enemy who taunts me—
I could bear that.
It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—
I could have hidden from them.
Instead, it is you—my equal,
my companion and close friend.
What good fellowship we once enjoyed
as we walked together to the house of God.

Sound the alarm, Robin. God is not mocked. What is sown will be reaped. This is a message of grace. Preach, my sister!