Kent Busman is the executive director of Camp Fowler.
“Yes, though hope is our duty,
let us live a while without it…”
This is the moment of no hope. Joseph takes the body of Jesus, with rigor mortis already setting in, and lays it gently in the tomb, as though a mother were laying her baby in a manager. Our faith fled when Jesus gave his last involuntary gasp on the cross: he would not be calling us after him anymore. As Joseph backs out and takes one last glimpse at the body, all hope is entombed with the Nazarene. Our dreams are shut away in the darkness.
There are many who stand on the dark side of faith and hope. This is our day to stand with them. Joseph, the disciples, the women: none of them had yet experienced Easter. How many today still live without the promise of Easter? Are you ready to stand by them?
This is the day we approach with no answers, no proof texts, no unbelievable stories. This is the day we stand with those for whom there is no answer. This is the dark night of the soul that we neither seek nor avoid. The day before Easter is a reminder that the Reformers got it wrong. It’s not sola fide, “faith alone.” God takes us to where neither faith nor hope can go. The burial of Jesus is the burial of any trust we might put in our faith. There are times when we must, as Berry says, “live without it…”
But only until this: “Early on the first day of the week…” (John 20:1).
Prayer: Lord, we place all that we have and all that we are in the tomb alongside the body of your son. And we stand without hope of light. And yet we stand.
The 2015 Lenten reflections were submitted by staff, volunteers, board members, campers, and friends who have spent time at Camp Fowler in New York.
For this year’s Lent devotions, the days follow the Common Lectionary texts. Each author was invited to:
Read the passage.
Read a couple passages before and after the assigned day.
Do something else for the day, keeping the passage in mind.
Find a word/phrase/concept that connects with your own experience. Reflect on that.
You are encouraged to do the same.