March 31 (Holy Saturday)

Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24
1 Peter 4:1-8
John 19:38-42
Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16

On Holy Saturday in 2009, I was released from the hospital after six days with HELLP Syndrome, a nasty variant of preeclampsia that almost killed both Daniel and me. (Thankfully, they were able to transfer me to a hospital where the best high-risk doctor in the Mountain West performed an emergency C-section at 29.5 weeks to save us both.) I spent the next week dealing with horrible PTSD and post-partum depression as I struggled to come to terms with everything that had happened. Adding insult to injury, 30 minutes after we arrived home from Great Falls, someone called to scold me for not being down at the hospital with my baby. That phone call destroyed the hard-won progress the NICU nurses had made in helping me come to terms with Daniel’s impending long stay in the NICU. It was devastating.

I feel a kinship with the disciples as they were in hiding. They had seen their rabbi and leader arrested and crucified. Crucifixion was used by Rome as an example of why not to challenge their authority — Jesus’ disciples were likely terrified of facing a similar fate. Seeing Jesus crucified must have ended their hopes and dreams of Jesus being the one to come into Jerusalem triumphantly to overthrow the oppressive Romans. They could not even do the full burial rites because the Sabbath was starting, and Jesus needed to be buried before sundown. How devastating it must have been for them!

Jesus, in these times when we lack hope, remind us that things did not have the ending people anticipated; but instead, You triumphed and defeated death once and for all. Our hopes may be dashed, but You have better plans for us. Amen.
-Jen McCabe