Lenten Devotionals

Meditations and prayers for the 40 days.
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March 31, 2018

The Compost Pile

The Rev. Werner Ramirez, Associate Pastor for Youth, Young Adults & Community Groups

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Matthew 27:57-60

Holy Saturday is kind of an awkward day for us. Yesterday, we mourn and remember that Jesus the Christ died. Yet, we know the story does not end there. We know that tomorrow we celebrate resurrection! We cannot go straight to Sunday without Friday. But what do we do today, in the in-between?

Through Scripture, we know that on Saturday a follower of Jesus, named Joseph, arranged to get Jesus’ body so that it could be wrapped in fine linen. Then he placed it in a new tomb.

At Princeton Theological Seminary I took a few classes on the school’s farm, that (rightfully so) is called the Farminary. For some reason, I usually got stuck working with the compost. The compost is filled with dead and rotting “stuff,” and it stinks! Yet this stinky stuff turns into something that will give plants new life. That compost helped birth life to peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, bok choy, radishes, cilantro and other vegetables. But something had to die so that new life could be born. So before the new plant is born, we tend the compost. In a sense, we give the compost a proper burial.

Perhaps it is time to give an aspect of your life a proper burial. What must you die to so that it can give life to something new? Is it time to properly bury your pride, so that humility can bring you new life? Is it time to die to faith in nations and politicians, so that you may have new life following Christ? Perhaps it is time to die to greed, anger and hate.

On this Holy Saturday, with resurrection in mind, give a proper burial to whatever is choking your life. Put it in the compost pile, and see what grows from it.

Holy Spirit, may you guide us in reflecting what we must do in life. Show us what we must die to, so that new life can come about. Give us the ears to hear your cause, and give us the courage to act. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

The Rev. Werner Ramirez, Associate Pastor for Youth, Young Adults & Community Groups