Saturday, April 4, 2015

Holy Saturday

I hope you are having a mindful and grace-filled Holy Week...

I wanted to share just a few things I've been meditating on--especially during the dark in-between-ness of Christ Crucified and Christ Resurrected.

I love what Micah J. Murray has written here on Good Friday.  In this prose-poem, "God is Dead," he explores the decimating reality of when God was dead.  The women and the Beloved Disciple at the cross must have held hope till the very last that He who could heal and He who could command the seas could and would rescue himself.  But no.  "It is finished" was the crushing blow to such hopes.  Murray writes:
Of course the earth shook when the breath that had formed mankind slipped from the lungs of the very One who first spoke it all into existence. I wonder that mountains and oceans and planets and stars didn’t all plummet together into an infinite void of darkness, when the hands that had molded them fell limp and lifeless, pierced and broken. 
“God is dead...”
And on this day, we don't get to rush ahead to the happy ending.  On this day we identify with the finality of hope lost.  And in this moment, I understand the words that my soul so often pushes against when TS Eliot said:
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
- East Coker  
In so doing, we empathize with those who have lost hope in their own lives.  At the beginning of Lent, I read this beautiful reflection by Josh Ross who pointed out that, this year, Holy Saturday falls on the same day as the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.  As he so wonderfully puts it:
I think—as for now—April 4th belongs on the Saturday after Good Friday and before Easter Sunday. It is the day that adequately describes where we are in race relations today throughout our world...
Saturday is where we often live. It is the day of questioning, doubt, anxiety, and confusion. There is an awkwardness about Saturday; an uncertainty of how exactly this story is going to pan out.
Race in America is not where it was. Yet, it also isn’t where it needs to be. We can’t go back to the days of utter darkness, despair, oppression, and striping certain groups of dignity, yet we also can’t pretend as if we have arrived at somewhere we have not.
Holy Saturday reminds us that far too many areas of our world have yet to experience Resurrection.

And yet, today I have been reading Lady Julian of Norwich and exploring the notion of felix culpa--literally "happy fall." St. Augustine said of this notion: "Melius enim iudicavit de malis benefacere quam mala nulla esse permittere."  Or, in English, "For God judged it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit any evil to exist."

Holy Saturday means Christ is in the tomb and hope seems vain, "but all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well..."

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, this is such a good reminder. I especially LOVE love love T.S. Eliot's East Coker! I really need to read more Eliot.