Of Blood and Water

John 19: 31 – 37

“Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

Holy Saturday – the day of quiet waiting and reflection – the liminal threshold anticipating resurrection. In busy preparation for celebrations of Easter, let’s not miss this opportunity to welcome space within ourselves to embrace the unknown, uncertainty, and mystery of life unfolding.

Blood and water. Blood is life and blood is death. Blood pumping brings life. And blood released brings death. Our lives follow the rhythm of life and death, life and death, life and death. One leads to the other which then births the cycle again. What in us is alive? Are we holding back? Are we open to the risk of even more abundant life? What in us needs to die? Are we holding on when the invitation is to let go? Do we trust that death will bring new life? Can we glimpse the hope that comes with new birth?

Water. Cleansing and healing. A sign. A seal. A sacrament. Flowing, fresh, bringing fruitfulness. Stagnant, drowning, bringing death. The invitation enlarges. Open yourself to be cleansed, to be healed – in both the living and the dying. Discern where you are. Stand in the threshold. Listen deeply. And prepare to step into the life, the death, the both/and that is the next leg of your journey.

Wherever you are, whatever your next step …. resurrection is coming!!


God of life and God over death, hear us as we pray. Listen to our hearts and show us the way. Grant us discernment and wisdom – and courage and strength for our next step. Whether life or death, enlarge in us the trust to hope that resurrection is coming. Amen.

This Lenten reflection accompanies the Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming initiative. To learn more click here.

#imaffirming #lent

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