Holy Saturday, April 15, 2017
Repent, Rebirth, Reconcile, Rejoice, Redemption, Restore
Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24 (19-24)
The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16
In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me.
You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
My times are in your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your steadfast love.
1 Peter 4:1-8
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme. But they will have to give an account to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.
The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.
Matthew 27:57-66 (57-61)
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
“Learning to Wait in the Dark: A Holy Saturday Reflection”
By Barbara Brown Taylor
Resurrection is always announced with Easter lilies, the sound of trumpets, bright streaming light. But it did not happen that way. Whatever happened to Jesus between Saturday and Sunday, it happened in the dark, with the smell of damp stone and dug earth in the air. It happened where no one but him could talk about it later, and he did not talk about it—at least not so anyone could explain it to anyone else.
That is what Holy Saturday has taught me about being a Christian. Between the great dramas of life, there is almost always a time of empty waiting—with nothing to do and no church service to help—a time when it is necessary to come up with your own words and see how they sound with no other sounds to cover them up. If you are willing to rest in this Sabbath, where you cannot see your hand in front of your face and none of your self-protective labors can do you one bit of good, then you may come as close to the Christ as you will ever get—there in that quiet cave where you wait to see how the Maker of All Life will choose to come to you in the dark.
The Challenge of Easter
By N.T. Wright
Following Christ in the power of the Spirit means bringing to our world the shape of the gospel: forgiveness, the best news that anyone can ever hear, for all who yearn for it; and judgment for all who insist on dehumanizing themselves and others by their continuing pride, injustice and greed.
Your calling may be to find new ways to tell the story of redemption, to create fresh symbols that will speak of a home for the homeless, the end of exile, the replanting of the garden, the rebuilding of the house.