A Silent Saturday

Pilate was surprised to hear that He was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. – (Mark 15:44-46, NIV)

 

After the devastation of the cross, a faithful few prepared Jesus’ body and buried Him in a tomb. By sun up, it would be the Sabbath, and no one would be going anywhere or doing anything. The disciples and other followers of Jesus likely spent the day in mourning. Meanwhile, the chief priests and the Pharisees were not at all at ease. They went to Pilate because they recalled the words of Jesus, and clearly had concerns about what might transpire in the coming days.

 

“Sir,” they said, “we remember that while He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So, give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that He has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” – (Matthew 27:63-64, NIV)

 

Consequently, Pilate ordered his guards to make the tomb secure and to stand guard at the tomb. That Saturday, all seemed to be silent. Jewish law kept mourners from moving about and doing much of anything, and I imagine that each of the faithful followers of Jesus retreated to their own homes and pondered all that had transpired in the previous twenty-four hours. It is as if the world stopped spinning, and all were stuck in a silent space of grief and disbelief. For me, knowing the whole story, I am in a space between awe and agony at the weight of all that Jesus bore on my behalf, and the anticipation of celebration, knowing that He conquered death and rose again the very next day.  Today is a space of waiting. Silent reflection and appreciation are what flood my heart and mind. I mourn my own sinfulness, yet overflow with gratitude for the salvation that is granted because He bore it all for me. May we each find our own quiet moments to reflect on the magnitude of what our Maker did for us all as we stay in this space of sacred silence.

 

This day of waiting, A SIlent Saturday

Sabbath long ago;

The Savior, buried,

Seemed hope’s final blow.

The world lay silent,

The Savior was dead;

Where were they to go,

What could have been said?

Silent reflection,

Such grief on that day;

What could have been done,

Unrealized grace.

O painful waiting,

To go to the tomb;

Observe in anguish,

Savior’s seeming doom.

The stillness gave way,

For we know the end;

Death could not hold Him,

As He rose again.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your one and only Son to make the way for us to be restored unto You. Thank You Jesus, for bearing the weight of all of our sin upon Yourself; for we are the ones deserving sanctions of suffering, not You. Forgive us for not fully embracing the weight of what You have done for us, or for questioning whether or not Your sacrifice truly covered it all. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would receive the mercy and grace provided at the cross, and demonstrate our gratitude by living a life that ever seeks Your will. Show us how to love those around us in a way that makes the promise that joy comes in the morning no matter how dark the night appears, evident. May many come to embrace the grace that You made possible through Your death and resurrection on this holy weekend so long ago. Be glorified O God, as we set our hearts in silent reflection over all that You did to make us acceptable in Your sight. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. – John 16:22

Real Righteousness

image by Charlie Wakefield

image by Charlie Wakefield

To be truly righteous,

it’s apart from the law;

covered by Christ Jesus,

who had no sin, nor flaw.

Righteousness is a gift,

granted to believers;

through faith in Christ alone;

silencing deceiver.

For each of us have sinned,

fallen short of glory;

yet He justifies us,

redemptive grace stories.

God gave His only Son,

lone worthy sacrifice;

He who had known no sin,

the One to justify.

We boast not of our acts,

nor of law adherence;

but boast of His great grace,

and His loving kindness.

(Responding to Romans 3:21-28)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that to be considered righteous before You, we don’t have to do “enough” or be “enough” to earn it, but rather if we place our trust in You, it is a gift that You grant to each of us as You view us through the veil of Your sinless Son.  Forgive us for allowing grace and the law to become muddied, and help us to walk faithfully in the fullness of the grace we have been given, so that we might live and love in a way that is pleasing to You.  May our acceptance of Your grace and our willingness to obey, allow Your light and love to reflect clearly through us to those who need to know You.  May many come to grasp Your great grace for themselves, as their hearts are filled with faith in You.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Bound in Balance

image by Ashish Dodgaa

image by Ashish Dodgaa

Do not be yoked

with unbelievers.

It opens way,

for the deceiver.

Why would we pair,

deep darkness with light?

One way is truth,

the other, lost sight.

Trust and deceit,

can they be aligned?

One – righteousness,

the other, a lie.

We, His temple,

are to tend it well.

Ban all idols,

give no hand to hell.

He is with us,

and we are with Him;

where our hearts lie,

help us sink or swim.

(Responding to 2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us instructions and warnings in Your word for our benefit.  Forgive us for any relationships that we have formed in which we are yoked together with unbelievers in such a way, that our faith is being compromised.  Grant us wisdom and strength to bring balance to the relationships in our lives so that we are mutually encouraged to walk and grow with You.  May we be a help and not a hindrance to all whom are in our lives, and may many come to call You King as they recognize the greatness of Your grace and how everlasting is Your love.  May You be glorified in all that we do and say today.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Wearing White Robes

Wearing White Robes“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” – Revelation 22:14

The washing of the robes is the symbolic cleansing of ourselves from sin.  It comes only through our asking and receiving that which Jesus has freely given by His great grace.  Going “through the gates into the city”, is our promised entry into eternity with Him, for all who believe and receive Him in our hearts.  I imagine “the tree of life”, though it was once the one thing not allowed in the garden with God, even that, will be ours to take part in, because of the perfect sacrifice given by our Savior, and by the defeat and destruction that will come to the deceiver.  Blessed indeed, will be every believer, on that great and glorious day when we are welcomed into our eternal home with Him!

As we arrive at this eve of yet another new year, it is good to both reflect upon what He has done, and anticipate what He will do.  I tend not to make resolutions, but rather resolve to continue to passionately pursue Christ to the best of my ability, daily, leaning not on my own understanding, but on His, and trust that He will continue to lead, guide and direct my every step in the direction He wants me to go.  A year and a half ago, I would have never have believed that I would willingly make what God places on my heart in writing, publicly available for so many to access.  Though it is still a bit intimidating, I never question His faithfulness to meet me each morning and whisper His words to my heart as I study His word.  He has held my hand and guarded my heart, as I have been grown and encouraged, challenged and loved well by both Him and the hearts of His people in this kind and loving community.

A very blessed 2013 to you all as we wait, wearing our freshly washed robes of white – for we are His, and He is preparing a place for us, far greater than our minds can conceive.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to be the perfect sacrifice for all of our sin.  Please forgive us and help us to embrace the grace You give so that we may wrap ourselves in Your robes of white.  Thank You that we are blessed with the assurance of knowing the ultimate outcome, regardless of how things appear right now.  May this new year bring bountiful opportunities to be a blessing on Your behalf.  May many come to know You in this new year.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present