It is that day, the day when the absence of sound is louder than we can imagine. This is time in-between. All hold still, in shock, in anger, in grief, and for some in fear. Nothing can be done. Our world has paused.
I always wake on Holy Saturday and feel the strength of this quiet pause. We know the ‘rest’ of the story and it is easy to move ahead in preparation for tomorrow’s sunrise- feeling awash with new life. But we cannot move any faster than time allows.
I entered the living room this morning and stopped in front of my lilies. I noticed they seemed to be gently opening for Easter’s Alleluia. Looking closer I saw that two of the flowers had what appeared to be small tear drops at the tip of their buds. Certainly I had seen this before but this morning it took my attention. For a moment I could hear all of creation call out, reminding me to slow down and be present to this still, quiet day.
A day like no other — a time when all stands stands still.
Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut more deep. Let it ferment and season you as few human Or even divine ingredients can. Something missing in my heart tonight Has made my eyes so soft, My voice so tender, My need of God Absolutely clear.
There are times when everything seems so quiet. The kind of quiet that you notice. No music, no buzz of the computer, no sound of airplanes overhead – the kind of quiet that can feel unsettling. We are so accustomed to noise that we live much of our lives oblivious to how it surrounds us. Only when some of this noise is removed do we notice a difference.
And then there is the quiet Holy Saturday. The quiet that has nothing to do with noise around us. This day is about silence. The absence of a certain noise; the beating of a heart, the sound of the breath – an absence that suspends time. On this day everything is longed for. There is no surprise to the silence but instead a keen recognition of all that is missing.
Like the gray noise of the TV station off the air, we know we are in between. Between what has been and what is to come.
For many this Saturday is a time for preparation. Like being called on to stay alert and ready, we bustle about knowing that the sun will rise on Sunday to a new understanding. A grand announcement – that death was not the end, that life once again fills the air. Yet no matter how busy one seems preparing for the next sunrise… the fact remains, this day – this Saturday’s silence creates a void that cannot be filled.
Holy Saturday is a hard day. Holy Saturday is an important day. In the absence of a beating heart, our own hearts move in time. Not our time but God’s time. This day cannot be rushed.
We listened as did his disciples. He tried to prepare us for the events to come. We experienced the emotional spin of a final meal, a betrayal and anxious hours of waiting.
These minutes seem like years. We walk the dusty road in dis-belief. No sun light, only a sky filled with clouds of anger and heavy hearts. When ‘it is finished’ all is silent.
We hear this deafening silence. All that promised a New Way recedes into a hollowed stone – the grave of our hope sacrificed.
Alone- we stand together. The ashes lay before us. There is no stirring of a Phoenix, no thought of what is to come.
Unlike those nearest Jesus, we know that tomorrow’s sunrise will bring life anew. Yet it is important to stay present to this ‘time in between’. For only on this day can we ask – what impact does tomorrow’s daybreak have on our own faith and witness?
May your reflections bring strength on this Holy Saturday.
‘Hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary destiny.’
On this early morning of Holy Saturday, I consider the disciples scattered in shock and fear. That group of followers – friends – who hung in the balance. What they had believed in and hoped for was shattered as their great teacher and Lord lay dead in a tomb. What they would come to believe and give their own lives for had not yet been revealed.
Hanging in the balance, these ordinary people were preparing for extraordinary destinies.
my prayer for today…
In these hours of piercing silence, may we remember people who have no voice, no peace, no safe place to make their home.
In this time of vigil, may we offer prayer and compassion for people who always live in time-in-between, never knowing what the next day will bring.
My prayers are offered for all saddened by loss and fearful of the unknown.
It is difficult to spend these hushed hours with little light and no song of joy, may my heart be filled with awe for people who live this way, always.
In this time of waiting, I pray for a sunrise bright with light and hope for all who live in darkness.