I am not a very patient person. Whether it’s waiting for an event or a gift, or trying to explain something to someone, being patient is not one of my skills. I’ve got a lot better at it recently, but needing to wait for things doesn’t come naturally to me.
I often struggle with what to ‘do’ on Holy Saturday, especially this year. So far today I haven’t really done anything apart from napping and listening to my brother singing along to ABBA. Especially because churches are not open at the moment, things like cleaning them and preparing our buildings for Easter can’t happen. I suppose in the resting at least I can pretend I’m emulating the disciples….
On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment (Luke 23: 56)
The major difference though is that we know how the story ends. (Spoiler alert: resurrection) We are waiting for Sunday, and the ‘sure and certain hope’ of resurrection, but we are also waiting alongside those who didn’t know what was around the corner, the women who went to the tomb to lay spices to find it empty, Mary Magdalene who didn’t immediately recognise Jesus in the garden – we know this, but they had no benefit of hindsight, only the grief of being without Jesus.
For me, I think this is the importance of Holy Saturday, this year at least. If the cross is the ultimate act of solidarity, and the resurrection is the ultimate act of triumph, then Holy Saturday perhaps is the ultimate act of waiting, of presence and absence and messiness. It can remind us that nothing is binary and those liminal spaces in-between, wherever and whenever we are, are beautiful and important and difficult, and all of those all at once.