Saturday, March 30, 2013

Silent Saturday

Holy Week is full of mile markers, each with their own significance:

Palm Sunday
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
And of course the Pièce de résistance ... Easter.

But not yet. 

Today is Saturday. Good Friday is now in the past but Easter is not yet here. Though some religious circles refer to it as Holy Saturday or Easter Eve, most people I know don't refer to it as anything.  In modern American culture, perhaps it is the day most Easter egg hunts take place or the day church choirs put the finishing touches on their cantatas. But that's certainly not what I'm talking about. In relation to Holy Week, what is the real significance of this day? Is it just a placeholder sandwiched between the important stuff?

For me it is an interesting day. Not because of how I spend it but because of how I imagine the disciples spent it.  Think about it ... they've had the privilege of walking, talking, learning from, and just hanging out with Jesus. God in the flesh. He was changing everything. Then what changed was the tide of public opinion and in a mind-numbing twist, our hero was betrayed, arrested, and unjustly killed.

"Wait. This is not how this was supposed to happen.  I don't understand. We thought He was the Messiah. We devoted our lives to Him. And now He's gone. What do we do now??"

That is the angst I try to linger in on this Saturday.  How that must have felt for them. 

The confusion. 
The gut wrenching grief. 
The fear. 
The questioning. 
The speechlessness. 
The feeling of God being ... Dead. 

Then I think of how that has felt for me, and maybe you as well. 
When things don't play out the way they were supposed to. 
When I feel like the train just derailed. 
When my life feels like it is swirling down the drain before my eyes and I am rendered utterly dumbfounded and paralyzed. 

The confusion. 
The gut wrenching grief. 
The fear. 
The questioning. 
The speechlessness. 
The feeling of God being ... Dead. 

Right now we have an advantage over the disciples. We know that Resurrection Sunday is tomorrow. That the tomb would be empty. That hope is not lost and God is anything but dead. 

So why can't we remember that for ourselves when we are in our Holy Saturday seasons?  
Why can't I live in the glorious knowledge of Easter, even on Saturday?  
Why can't I trust Him to be exactly Who He said He is?  To do exactly what He said He would do?

Perhaps that is what makes Saturday "holy" and a significant part of Holy Week -- because of the profound faith work that God is doing in the silence.  This is the day I find out what my beliefs really are. 

Let us not miss that today because of egg hunts and choir practice. 
Let us not busy ourselves to avoid the agony of thinking about the implications of yesterday. 
Let us embrace today's hurt, today's questions, with the glorious foreknowledge of tomorrow's miracle. 
And may the heaviness of today only serve to increase the joy of tomorrow. 

God is not dead. 
He's surely alive!

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. 
(Psalms 30:5 NLT)

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