Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 40
Day Forty Holy Saturday, April 16
The Last Day of the Lenten Season
The Night of the Easter Vigil
The Death of the Great One
Read: Deuteronomy 34:1-8
Moses Dies and Is Buried in the Land of Moab
34 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. 4 The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” 5 Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. 6 He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day. 7 Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. 8 The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended.
Today’s Word from the Weary Wilderness: Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. (Deuteronomy 34:5)
Reflection: As we end Moses’ weary journey at Mount Nebo, we also reflect today on the death of Jesus. Today is a somber day for followers of Jesus Christ, as he lays in his grave. We call it Holy Saturday. A favorite song of mine is O Praise the Name by Hillsong Worship. The words touch me deeply: His body bound, and drenched in tears, they laid him down in Joseph’s tomb, the entrance sealed by heavy stone, Messiah still, and all unknown. For the early followers of Jesus, this was devastating day. They likely struggled to remember Jesus promises of “rising again” when they were suffering their own grief. Panic causes us to forget what we have been told. Likewise, the people of Israel must have wept over Moses. Reflect today on a time you have experienced deep grief and distress, and all the unknown that comes with it. When you bring this experience to the light of Easter, what emotions enter your spirit? What are you looking forward to the most about Easter Sunday this year? The Vigil of Easter begins at sunset!
Prayer: God of the Weary Wilderness, we are coming to the end of this long journey. We grieve that Jesus is in the tomb, but we see the sunset approaching, and the candles of our vigil will soon be lit. We are eager for the light. Come to us as light and life, and begin to prepare our hearts for true celebration and for all the growth that will come with new life. Amen.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist