Today is Holy Saturday. The day of the tomb. My co-workers could all tell you that I have an unusual love for this day of Holy Week.
Partly, it is because I have not found many instances of churches offering something intentionally for this day. It is also because of the mystery of this time that Jesus spent in the tomb. And partly because this is the furthest point in the Paschal Mystery that we can grasp to some degree. We understand the ritual, the meal, the betrayal, and abandonment of Holy Thursday. We see the effects of personal sin and institutional injustice all the time. We unfortunately see death, pain, and powerlessness. Finally, we comprehend what it is to lose someone. To leave them in the tomb and mourn their absence.
Everything to this point is God entering the familiar. Tomorrow, we remember that God invites us into the unfamiliar. We remember that he breaks open the tomb and promises us resurrection and new life--In part now, but in its fullness at the end of time when God is all in all.
But what do we do with this final familiar time? With others that we have lost, we mourn and remember. We sit and we share stories, favorite stories that remind us of the joy we shared.
On this day that has no readings of its own, find your favorite story about Jesus and revisit it. If it is from the gospels then reread it, if it is an encounter you had with the Lord then retell it, or if it is a story of the Lord in someone else’s life then listen to someone else tell it.
This is a memorial day. This a day of remembering how extraordinary Jesus is. Don’t treat today as the intermission between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Instead allow today to be the tension that is built between two climatic moments.
Stay connected to the cross. Stay connected to the tomb. Revisit your past with Jesus, so that it may be a springboard into a desire for a greater future with Jesus.
- Spencer Hargadon