I wrote this last year on Holy Saturday, 2013.
Today is Holy Saturday.
At the start this was the day after the crucifixion of Jesus, the day when his disciples and friends walked around in a fog, not knowing what to think or do. As for the onlookers and cynics and skeptics, they could finally move on as well, another would-be messiah was gone, and soon to be forgotten.
There was a tradition within these messianic movements to “capture” the brother of the deceased leader and make him the new messiah. But no one went looking for James, the brother of Jesus. A movement had come to a sudden stop.
Jesus had talked about a return of sorts, of a tearing down and rebuilding, but his close friends and students were lost on that one. And So Saturday was a day of waiting, that kind of waiting when you question a lot of things about the past, and about what to do next with your life. It’s a season of doubt and confusion, but with glimpses of faith and hope, because you can’t completely forget what you’ve seen and experienced.Those who had trusted Jesus to be who he said he was were now waiting.
We live in Holy Saturday every day of our lives. Our past testifies of the presence of God, and to his works in our world. And we carry around a hope of his return. But living between the two comings, as it were, is not easy. It’s often very quiet. Our prayers are not always answered. There are long seasons of nothingness. We tend to idolize our past or idealize our future, but fail to experience to the moments we’re in, because we’re not always certain God is in them alongside us.
N.T. Wright said: “Sometimes, though, we Christians need to observe a Holy Saturday moment. On Holy Saturday, there is nothing you can do except wait. The Christian faith suffers, apparently, great defeats. There are scandals and divisions, and the world looks on and loves it, like the crowds at the foot of the cross.” [Full post here]
Today, the day before we remember the resurrected Jesus, is a day to focus harder than ever on the presence of God in our lives. It is Holy Saturday, a day of wandering and wondering, a wilderness of faith and doubt, a life we’re all very familiar with.
Grace & Peace.