“I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our LORD:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.”
And then what?
If you grew up with a church experience anything like mine, you no doubt continued to recite the remainder of the Apostles’ Creed even after the words went missing.
“On the third day he rose again from the dead…”
But what happened in between? What happened on that day between his death and resurrection, and what does that day mean for us today?
We’re all familiar with what to do with and on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. We most definitely know what to do on Easter! But what about Holy Saturday?
Here’s what Pete Greig says about Holy Saturday in his book God On Mute:
“No one really talks about Holy Saturday, yet if we stop and think about it, it’s where most of us live most of our lives. Holy Saturday is the no-man’s land between questions and answers, prayers uttered and miracles to come. It’s where we wait – with a peculiar mixture of faith and despair – whenever God is silent or life doesn’t make sense.”
That phrase, “It’s where we wait…” is a focus for me. I’m waiting. Right now. God has called me take the first few steps on a journey of which I don’t know the destination. He has been silent about the destination, but not about the initiation. Eventually, at some point in time, I’ll be able to look back and see the whole journey from start to finish. Pete Greig describes it this way, “With hindsight, we know that Holy Saturday was not the end of the world. It was the space between two worlds – a day on the very cusp of beginning.”
On this Holy Saturday, set aside time to think about those moments/days/years when God has been silent in your life. You may be in that space right now. Seek his voice. Listen for it. Be silent and pray. Look in hindsight to those past periods of silence. To those past experiences of Holy Saturday.
“What happened today on earth?
There is a great silence.
A great silence, and stillness,
a great silence because the King sleeps”
-Ancient homily for Holy Saturday
Thank you for this meditation. We will all find ourselves in those times when we feel so alone. May we pray for the work of the Spirit to illumine those time for us, since they are easy to miss in our busy world. But it is in those times that we can truly lament sins effect in the world and on our lives and confess our faith in God, the Father, Almighty, Maker (and keeper) of heaven and earth.