The Darkness Before the Dawn
Today is Maundy Thursday. On this day, we memorialize the Last Supper of Jesus. This is the day that he washed his disciples’ feet and issued a new command—a mandate to love and serve one another. This is also a turning point—a final breath of peace before the descent into betrayal, suffering, death, and burial.
Following the meal, Jesus invited Peter, James, and John to pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest. Instead, they slept while Jesus wept over all that lay ahead.
When Jesus finally rises from prayer, it is to receive his betrayer's kiss.
Tomorrow, Good Friday, we will fast as we remember the mocking, the beating, the crucifixion.
On Holy Saturday we will pause, breath suspended, in mourning over Jesus’ body sealed in the tomb. Here we will keep our vigil.
This Holy Week—sealing this Lent—is almost too much for us. It is too hard to stay in this place. To wait. We are so hungry for Easter, for resurrection, for new life. But before we complete our Lenten journey, we are invited to walk in step with Jesus through his last and darkest days—through calamity, suffering, and even death.
Before we break bread with the risen Lord, we are asked to watch and pray with the suffering servant.
Before we sing "Alleluia", we will hear the echo of crowds shouting "Crucify Him."
Before the dawning wonder of, "He is not here, he is risen," comes the anguished cry, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Before the glory and splendor, the hope and promise of Easter comes the deep pain and loss of broken body, cross, and tomb.
This is the darkness before the dawn. May we enter into it fully—yet not surrender to it—holding fast to the promise of all that waits on the other side.