“So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.”
Holy Saturday is traditionally a quiet day. The two days before, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, are days filled with rich, vivid liturgies that draw our hearts and minds to Jesus offering himself to his disciples in the bread and the wine, and then offering himself for all of creation on the cross.
Once we get to Saturday, though, things are quiet. The liturgy for Holy Saturday is short, very short. It may, in fact, be one of the shortest services in our prayerbook. We’re meant to sit in the quiet with the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, and the other women and men who followed and listened and loved Jesus. We’re meant to call to mind that none of us escapes death, not even the Messiah. In the Orthodox Churches this day is called the Great Sabbath because it’s on this day that Jesus rested in the tomb.
We don’t do rest well in our homes, in our city, or in our world. We’re too busy, too active, too worried to ever completely rest. And that’s too bad, because it is only in resting, in stopping, in dying that we find our new life in Christ. As St. Augustine said in his Confessions, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.”
Take some time today to stop and rest so that we may, as the collect for Holy Saturday says, “rise with [Jesus] to newness of life.”
The Rev. Andy Olivo
Appointed readings for today: Job 14:1-14, Psalm 31: 1-4, 15-16, Matthew 27:57-66