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.
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