Holy Saturday, April 4, 2015
“Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me!”
(Job 19:21)I am a recovering optimist. North Korean cyber-attacks, Russian intrusions into the Scandinavian air space, and other military invasions over the past year have shaken me. How can such unmitigated evil exist? While it is not a new phenomenon, I am still stunned by evil’s intense expression in the world. Yet optimism and hope are two values that are not necessarily the same thing.Job in his lament brings the matter closer to home. How can evil come through the voices of people who are professing to be his friends? Job clings to that of which he is certain: that God’s mercy has touched his life. In the midst of friends who counsel him to despair, he holds firmly to who he knows God to be. The hope of God can outshine the despair of the world.Henry Ramsden Bramley wrote this prayer in a hymn: “O Thou the central orb of righteous love…come, quickly come, and let Thy glory shine gilding our darksome heaven.” As our church choir recently sang these words, the paradox was striking. As dark as the evil in the world looks now, we cannot surrender. The meaningful purpose of God breaks in even at the lowest moments.The disciples must have felt overwhelmed by evil as they despaired of the crucified Lord’s death in the days before Easter. But His purposes in the dark hour of death transformed history forever.
Lord, gild our darksome heaven and awaken us to the hope of resurrection. Amen.
|The Rev. Dr. Laurie Thompson (DMin 2001)
Dean of Doctoral Studies & Advancement
Trinity School for Ministry
Moon Township, PA