Saturday, April 11, 2009

the deeper the darkness...

"It always darkest before the dawn" is one of those saying that always struck me a singularly unhelpful. And yet, like most such sayings, has some profound truth lost in the repetition. We all have times in which prayer doesn't come and the "clouds hide the heart." Rev. Tilden reminds us that the "the deeper the darkness, the nearer we are to the light."

EASTER-EVEN (Scripture Reading)

AND now when the even was come, because it was the
preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. . . .
And . . . he gave the body to Joseph.
And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred weight.
Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, . . . and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus beheld where he was laid.

And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.
Mark xv. Luke xxiii. John xix.

Passion Week of Human Life (Tilden's Meditation)

We are with the Marys, preparing the spices with which to embalm our buried treasures. Just as that long silent Saturday, when the dead body of Jesus lay in the tomb, was darker than the tragical Friday, so the period that follows close upon any great grief is harder to bear than the day the sorrow came. Our treasures are entombed, and a stone, too great for us to move, is laid over the door of our sepulchre. All is dark, and God seems too far away to hear our cry. Here is darkness indeed! But the deeper the darkness, the nearer we are to the light, though we know it not. The clouds may hide the stars, they can never extinguish them. God's voice is in the cloud, though we may not hear. But this is only a day. It may be a long one; still, like all days, it will have its close. We fall asleep in our tears, our prayers half said, it may be. No matter. God knows.

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