There is an old Scottish and Shetland proverb that the last three days of March are “borrowing days”. These are supposed to be unusually stormy, and March “borrows” them from April in a last-ditch attempt to influence the spring weather, before March winds give way to April showers.
The same story crops up in a Spanish folk-tale: a shepherd promises to give March a lamb if he will reduce the strength of his winds, protecting the flocks. But once March has done so, the shepherd refuses to pay up. In revenge, March borrows three days from April, and produces even fiercer winds to pay back the shepherd for his deceit.
Borrowing and lending always has its consequences, I guess.
Today is Good Friday and I want to mention someone closely involved after the crucifixion of Jesus, an event the Christian Church marks today.
Joseph of Arimathea is described in the Bible as a rich man, a disciple of Jesus and a respected member of the Jewish council. We also know he didn’t support the council’s decision to call for Jesus’s death.
He watched as Jesus was crucified and then Joseph took Jesus’s body and, according to Matthew’s gospel, laid it to rest in a tomb in his own garden.
On Sunday, Christians will celebrate the belief that God raised Jesus from the dead, so Joseph’s act of extraordinary generosity was only needed for a handful of days.
But that doesn’t diminish his gift. After all, who expects a borrowed grave to be returned with grateful thanks – by the occupant?