A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble,
comes up like a flower and withers,
flees like a shadow and does not last.
Do you fix your eyes on such a one?
Do you bring me into judgment with you?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
No one can.
Since their days are determined,
and the number of their months is known to you,
and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass,
look away from them, and desist,
that they may enjoy, like labourers, their days.
“For there is hope for a tree,
if it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grows old in the earth,
and its stump dies in the ground,
yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth branches like a young plant.
But mortals die, and are laid low;
humans expire, and where are they?
As waters fail from a lake,
and a river wastes away and dries up,
so mortals lie down and do not rise again;
until the heavens are no more, they will not awake
or be roused out of their sleep.
O that you would hide me in Sheol,
that you would conceal me until your wrath is past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
If mortals die, will they live again?
All the days of my service I would wait
until my release should come.
Job 14 1-14
Today, Holy Saturday, is half way through the Easter weekend for most people in our society and it’s hard not to be in the celebrative mood already.
However, traditionally, today is a day of waiting. The disciples celebrated this sad Sabbath and waited until early on Sunday morning when they could prepare Jesus’ body properly for burial. Many Churches start their Easter celebrates tonight, after dusk, remembering that Jesus rose again in the night, but during the day they wait.
Waiting is hard – we always want to anticipate what is next and that’s particularly hard as we know how the story continues. In our passage from Job we see a long meditation on death which seems quite fitting for today. In v7 the writer expresses that whilst there is hope for a tree which may shoot again there is no hope for mortals.
The Christian hope, however, is that we will rise again, that Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection of the dead. In his resurrection we see ours that is to come at the end of time. But, until then, we wait.
Help us to wait,
To be patient,
To see you at work just as the sap rises beneath the soil
Springing forth into new and unexpected life.
Andy Braunston is the North Western Synod Clerk and is preparing for URC ministry at the Scottish College
We hope you have found these Lenten devotions useful in your journey through Lent. They end, with Lent, today. If you would like to receive in your inbox the Easter devotions that will start tomorrow and end at Pentecost please sign up here. They have been prepared by people from all over the URC in a project coordinated, again, by Andy Braunston.