“There was a good and righteous man named Joseph who came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid.” (Luke 23:50-53, NRSV)
I believe in God, who died.
Where do we go from here?
It isn’t quite over for us. Not yet.
In every place on Earth where blood has been spilled, people remember. We remember in the battlefields of France and Belgium. We remember on the sands of the Middle East and the Gulf. We stand by the graves of the known soldiers and the unknown ones, of the martyrs and the heroes, of the people whose deaths have changed the course of human history, and we remember.
And now we bury our dead.
It is the last thing we will ever do for them. It is the last thing we will do for him.
God of the grieving, we turn to you in our hour of despair.
As we lay your Son in his tomb,
we weep for the dead.
We pray for all those who have died in conflict.
For all those who have died as a result of ethnic cleansing.
For all those who have died on the streets of Glasgow.
For all those who have died violently.
For all those who have died with their names unknown.
For all those who have died alone.
For all those who will die tonight.
And we pray that they, with your Son and the souls of all the departed, may rest now in peace.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.