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We may not have thought much about the Saturday before Easter. With all the flourishes of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, nothing seems to happen on Holy Saturday. But, to truly appreciate the triumph of Resurrection invites us to contemplate the depths of the grave. This day represents the honest reality of our lives in expectant hope of Resurrection Sunday. After the shock of death or words that bring despair (such as "COVID-19," "cancer," "terminal," "sorry, but we have to eliminate your position"), we have to begin living with the "what next?" as we enter the void of unknowing. Most of us live, from time to time, in Holy Saturday. We experience the jubilation of Easter and the stark pain of Good Friday, but those are immediate and momentary. Holy Saturday is the time in between death and resurrection, fear and hope, pain and comfort. Holy Saturday is the valley of grief and uncertainty, for us and for Jesus' first disciples.
Life is often a time of Holy Saturdays with no resurrection in sight. Like the "valley of the shadow" of Psalm 23, we can train our senses and heart and mind to experience God's Spirit in the darkest valleys. We can gain sympathy for those persons who are struggling as we face our own Holy Saturday struggles. While our resurrections are uncertain—our successes still in suspense—we can listen for God's voice of companionship, care, and counsel as we live the uncertainty of Holy Saturday.
Much of our lives rest in that space between loss and hope. Our lives are full of Holy Saturday experiences, but we also live in the hope of the one who taken our Holy Saturday experience raised us with him. HE IS RISEN!
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