Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holy Saturday

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit Romans 8:1-4

This morning we attended a wonderful annual ritual in our little town. The civic club and the fire department put on an Easter Egg Hunt in the circle, the center of town, and kids come to ride the fire trucks and to chase after eggs. There is always plenty for everyone and we always get to see dear friends we have not seen since last summer. Hunts like this probably happen in all sorts of locations, but for us there is a tenderness due to the familiar, intimacy and the generations who gather together. I was presented with a little soft white bunny because someone knew I had a grandchild. And my mother sat with the Easter Bunny for almost a half hour, watching as the children approached with awe, wonder and a few with outright fear.

What do we do on Holy Saturday? It's not Easter yet. Tonight we will celebrate the Great Vigil of Easter and we will rehearse our faith, listening to the ancient stories and the promises of God's love and faithfulness. We will light the new fire and celebrate. And tomorrow, Easter morning, we will celebrate with all the color and joy of the resurrection. But today we wait, we are in that in-between, neither here nor there time, a holding space. The disciples were terrified and locked away on this day, not knowing what lie ahead. We have confidence that Easter will indeed come, but for them, they fear death was at their door, that they too would be arrested and destroyed for following Jesus. Many of us will not admit how tenuous life is for us, how we are holding on my the skin of our teeth, how we tremble when alone with anxiety and fear. We are human, and as we await the resurrection, may we remember that lying in that tomb was a human man, like all others, dead and broken, cold as stone. And God brought life again to the flesh, and continues to bring new life to all of us today. Waiting is the hardest part, but new life is coming and we are all on the verge of knowing it in our lives.

"Dear God, help us as we wait this day. Help those who have little hope left to know that you are near. Help all those who have abandon all hope to see a light in the near distance. Shine your love's light in all our hearts, that our waiting may be a time of joyful preparation, trusting that you are bringing abundant new life to us all. Amen"

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