Saturday, 7 April 2012

The Waiting Time

Holy Saturday is a waiting time. The time when the Passion has been remembered, but the joy of dawn on Sunday is still ahead. A time for thought and contemplation. A time to consider a life's work done, and a new chapter ahead.

Of course, that's just for us.

For the first disciples it was rather different.

It was an end-time. If the first Easter had happened in the UK, they'd be packing the cars after a disappointing holiday week and heading home. Of course, being in 1st century Judea, they couldn't do even that. It was a Sabbath. Those who lived in Jerusalem, who'd just had, as it were, day tickets - they could just sit at home with the metaphorical blinds down. Go to synagogue, repeat the old words, and reflect that maybe those texts hadn't been fulfilled in this particular Messiah after all. At least Judas had it easy - thrown in the Hinnon Valley, maybe, or the first occupant of the Potter's Field. It was all over for him.

But for the rest - down to Mark's house perhaps? Or the houses of one or another of the apparently wealthy women who'd followed Jesus - on the assumption that the husbands would be wanting to let this defeated, dejected rabble anywhere on the premises. The danger of turning up at someone's house and getting the dogs set on you must have been high. Your belongings could be packed in the evening, when Sabbath was over and you could ready yourself for an early start.

An early start. That was probably the plan. It wasn't like getting away from Spring Harvest a day early, taking in the final Celebration and then legging it up the M5 ahead of the spring holiday traffic. You'd go out at first light and hit the road. It was going to be a long walk home for the Galileans - and a dreary one. Back from a dream. Back from that bright light. Back to the smell of fish.

So it was a waiting time. A shattered, brutal, dark waiting time. A sleepless night with the thought of the start of a long journey in the morning. Not waiting for Easter Sunday - because "Sunday's coming" - waiting for the first day of the week, when you could crawl home.

Of course, it was quite a journey they woke up to. But then it was quite a morning. But that's another day's story.


  1. Having been a drama person in my youth (BK - before kids), I feel like Holy Saturday is kinda like that first day after the show closes. In a show, we've taken 30-40 people most of whom never knew each other previously, and you pour your entire existence and soul into something magical. That while the audience gains a brief glimpse into the magic, you have the experience of the sweat, the tears, the arguments, the angst of the rehearsals culminating in a series of outpourings of your spirit -each performance needing to be just as good as the last, lest you rob any audience of your absolute best. Then comes closing night...the realization that your intense time together is over...what's next? Where will everyone go? Will I ever see any of these people again? Those with whom I have poured out my entire soul night after night in vulnerable joy? The striking of the set, the exhausting process of tearing down the magic that you've created - never to be seen again. Sure, that show may be done again, but never with the same energies or feelings. And then the tears, hugs and goodbyes. The empty promises to "keep in touch", and the aloneness in your apartment the next day. The realization that you, like the others goes back to "the real world" now with only faded memories of the magic.

    I just figured out you have an IP sniffer that tells you I'm from Eugene, OR. Close, but no cigar. I'm actually from a little town 2 hours north, Salem, the capitol of our luscious state of Oregon (pronounced Or-reh-gun - the only people who say Or-ree-gone are people who don't live here or have moved here from the south and don't think they have an accent). Widely considered the heart of the unBible belt, I am on the border between the Enlightened Atheists and the Rural Believers. I am one of those liberal Episcopalians who believes that God said to love everyone, no exceptions and that the saying "love the sinner, not the sin" is complete nonsense - love completely, no exceptions.

    I wish all of you in your community a blessed Easter morn. And with the resurrection, the show will go on, the end of the magic was momentary and fleeting.

  2. Sorry for the long post...


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