Today is Saturday. We know it as Easter Even, as Holy Saturday. The day before Easter. The day between the promise and the fulfillment of the promise. It’s a little like the day before any big event, mostly. Tasks to be done to be sure that everything is ready for the big day. Eggs to dye. Food to prepare. Some last minute shopping for shoes, or a spring outfit. Finishing. Touches for Easter music and sermon .
It’s a day of waiting – a day in anticipation of what we know is coming.
Jesus’ people waited without knowing. I am sure there was anxiety in that waiting; resignation, if not acceptance, of the fact of his death.
A day o f waiting when not only is there no known answer, we don’t even know what questions to ask. A hard kind of waiting.
Waiting for results of a medical test.
Waiting for a loved one who is in a danger zone.
Waiting for a job, when there are none to be had, and bills to pay.
Waiting for the pain of loss to go away.
Waiting to know why.
It must have been that kind of waiting for the disciples. Waiting without assurance that there would be some form of relief, some punctuation to end this endless sentence. Some answer that helped make sense of it all. It never makes sense in that kind of waiting.
This Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Day, we wait in darkness. It’ s the day that Jesus lay dead and his disciples were left with dreadful uncertainty; with not knowing what the future holds. The day of darkness, the darkness of the tomb.
It seems to me that if life is filled with Maundy Thursday- Good Friday places, my faith is often a Saturday faith, and that does not feel holy. Because it doesn’t feel either comfortable or good or right not knowing. And so much of life is not knowing; waiting to know. How often when I get an insight or sense of knowing, I express it by referring to “shedding light” on a situation, or “light dawned.” When I follow the first fire of Easter into the church at the end of Holy Saturday, I KNOW. I know we will sing “The light of Christ.” “Thanks be to God.” I know that gradually the darkness of the sanctuary fills with the soft glow of candles, and we are ready collectively to KNOW- JESUS Christ is Risen Today!We know that there will be light – light that ends the darkness, that allows a kind of seeing that was not available in the dark.
Saturday is the day for me to get in touch with the part of my faith that is about waiting. Just sitting and waiting. Not knowing the answer, and still believing. This Holy Saturday comes once a year- and it mirrors those other Saturday’s that WiLL come, regardless of what I feel, or think, or say. Life has a lot of those kinds of Saturday’s. Not the ones we wish there were more of, with time out for play. The Saturdays between. The kind of Saturday’s where they waited at the tomb, not knowing.
Whatever else my Saturday faith might not know, it knows that the light of Easter comes. No matter how sad, how long, how empty, how scary. – I KNOW.
This Saturday I want to set aside the tasks, the to-do’s, for even a little while, and sit, and wait, and allow myself to feel it all. I cannot not know, because Easter has happened, and will happen again and again. I can count on it. In whatever waitings in my own life, I want to remember the difference.
They did not.
The light of Christ.
Thanks be to God.