“Weeping May Tarry for the Night…”
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
(Psalm 30:5 ESV)
“…for the night…”
Our Lord finds us in the night--in the valley of the shadow of death--and He alone restores our souls. Sometimes we have to endure hardships and wade in trials. Sometimes we have to stumble in the dark night. But, our Lord saves us eventually. Weeping endures for the night and we have to go through that night to get to the glory of the new day.
The children of Israel wandered for 40 years in the wilderness before our Lord brought them to the Promised Land. 40 years of weeping. 40 years of night. All worth it.
The Babylonian exiles had to spend 70 years in captivity before they could get back to the Promised Land. 70 years of weeping. 70 years of night. All worth it.
Our ancestors waited thousands of years before the Word became flesh and dwelt among us in the crucified and risen Christ who purchased for us new and eternal life. 1000s of years of weeping. 1000s of years of night. All worth it.
The bottom line is that something better is coming. Lent has a unique way of reminding us of that. The cross of ash at the beginning of this penitential season of repentance and renewal reminds us of our mortality but that same cross directs us to Christ’s death and resurrection that brought us everlasting life as a cross is made with sacred chrism on our foreheads and hearts at Lent’s Paschal conclusion. Our fasting prepares us for feasting. Our prayer reminds us of the day when there will be no more need for prayer when we shall be in perfect communion with our Lord in Paradise. Our almsgiving directs us to the day when everyone will have daily bread. Lent has a way of sharing with us that this slight momentary affliction is not worth comparing to the joy that is before us.
But for now, it may be night. The dark night of our souls can lead us to tears, but in that dark night we can look up and realize that a great cloud of witnesses weeps with us, crying out “How long, O Lord,” dotting the dark night sky of heaven’s firmament with their petitions that both inspire and encourage. We need not be afraid of the night. Jesus cried out to His Father in the night in Gethsemane’s Garden so that Mary Magdalene could cry out by the Spirit, “Rabbouni,” by the garden tomb of Christ’s resurrection…and hers. Any gardener will tell you that things grow in the night. Your faith does, too.
Even if our night seems to last forever, it will not. Hear that, saints. Night will not last forever. Fast. Pray. Give alms. And count sheep—Jesus’ little lambs—at night as you try to count the stars in the sky and the sands on the seashore, remembering that God rescues His children in the night, bringing Abraham’s children safely through the Red Sea on dry ground, recalling that Abraham’s Seed—Christ Jesus-- rises from the dead in the night and is coming again in glory to make “no more night” for His children in the New Jerusalem. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. We are not alone in the night because Jesus weeps with those who weep in the night and so does His Holy Church. Bathed at night into Christ’s death and resurrection in Holy Baptism and nourished in our ears, mouths, hearts and souls at the Lord’s Supper, our Lord braces us for and protects us from any terrors of the night. His pillar of fire leads the way. His saving light still shines, even as we weep, even through our “weary years” and our “silent tears.” Lent can be a time for such weeping. And if it is such a time as this, let it be, for it is just for a moment.
Night has fallen. Lent is upon us. But even in the night, we grow. Our Lord matures us and prepares us for the glories of the resurrection as we watch, wait, and weep in vigil. His anger is just for a moment and His favor is for a lifetime. It is His promise. Joy is coming. Mourning is ending. Morning is breaking. Something better is coming your way. You wait and see.
Peace and hope,
Saturday Liturgy: 7PM
Sunday Liturgies: 8AM & 11AM
Wednesday Liturgy: 7:30PM
Anointing with Oil for Healing: Once a month as indicated in the calendar.
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A Brief History
By the mercy of Almighty God, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Bronx, New York, was founded in 1928.
Members of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Yonkers who lived in the Wakefield section of the Bronx in...
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Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
4360 Rev. Theodore Wittrock Crossing
(Boyd and Barnes Avenues)
The Bronx, NY 10466-1804
Phone: 718.324.1288 - Fax: 718.324.2056
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