A reflection for Holy Saturday
By Anthony Mullins, U.S. Regional Director, Southeast
The silence was deafening. The Messiah was dead and enclosed in a tomb. How could this possibly happen after the awesome display of divine power in his life?
Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter, is a time of mourning and quiet disbelief on the liturgical calendar. Holy Saturday is a day of uncomfortable silence. The Word of God become flesh is dead. For his disciples and friends, it was a day of confusion and fear. Wasn’t Jesus the Holy One of God? John the Baptist pointed to him as the Lamb of God and then Jesus himself invited us to follow him. Were we misled?
On this side of history, we know Holy Saturday eventually gives way to Easter Resurrection Sunday. However, before we rush to the shouts of celebration that “He’s alive,” I invite you to sit in the quiet mystery of Holy Saturday.
Why? Many think God is still stuck in that dreadful Saturday. Their perception tells them he is still quiet and unavailable to the circumstances of the day. Where is God in this pandemic that has been raging for more than a year? God seems so very silent in the political division and rancor that dominates much of public discourse. Churches are still struggling with whether to conduct in-person worship gatherings. Where is God in all of this?
Holy Saturday teaches us to live in the real and present tension that God is very alive even though it can appear he is silent and unaware of the disturbing circumstances. Holy Saturday can feel like today—a day of loneliness and isolation. Ultimately, it is a day of compassion that teaches us to comfort the hurting and disillusioned who feel all hope is lost.
The narrative of our Lord Jesus Christ does not end with Holy Saturday. Therefore, we can embrace the truth that the narrative of our lives does not end with Holy Saturday. Death is not the final word!
Mourning will last for a night, but joy comes in the morning!