Holy Saturday

Why is it called Holy Saturday?

 

I know many people pass the time on Holy Saturday by holding a vigil and reading through scripture.

But the truth is, when the disciples where waiting on Saturday, they were doing nothing. Holed up in their house they were hiding from the Empire.

They were awaiting their own death. Probably wondering out loud why Jesus had to die, wondering why he had to die a heretic, laid upon a cross that meant your were destined for hell.

It was a room that smelled of fear and death. It was a place where the disciples took cold comfort with one another, no doubt trying to ignore Peter’s pleas that he didn’t meant to deny Jesus. No doubt wondering if they were supposed to steal the body.

Women were sent. They were thought to be harmless. Women prepared Jesus for the tomb with the wrappings and the spices to hide the bad smell. They moved him to the cavern in the garden, where the guards watched to make certain no mischief was done. They were the worthless, but essential workers of the day.

We are in a sort of Holy Saturday ourselves, waiting for the word for the all clear. Hearing stories of who has died, and the suffering they have undergone.

We are experiencing the interminable wait, the timeframe is unknown, the hope is thin, and the loneliness is impenetrable.

Families are worried and separated from one another. And the world is slowly falling apart. And the world is a dark and scary place.

We can see the cornerstones of our lives being deconstructed. The things we depend upon are changing: the routines are gone, the securities are unreliable: school, work, church are crumbling.

Holy Saturday is what happens under the waters of baptism, I wonder if that’s what happens when you say goodbye to a loved one who has died who you can no longer see on earth. I wonder if Holy Saturday is where we are as we wait for the second coming of Christ.

Holy Saturday is the gap in scripture, undefined by the stories, left wide open in the yawning space of time.

Holy Saturday is now. The time between sickness and the cure. It’s the time before the temple is rebuilt. It’s the time when the cracks in society are splitting apart. It’s the time when the gaps are made clear, for when the rebuilding needs to happen.

And we await the healing, sabbath, wholeness of Easter and the time we can be together.

Somehow, this dark waiting time can be Holy too.

More Pandemic Prayers

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant for 7 years, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times. "Hallows, not Horcruxes" Harry Potter

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