“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
HOLY SATURDAY is a day of stillness. Gone are the sounds of nails hammered and taunts slung and cross words spoken. Absent is the trembling of the earth and the tearing of the curtain and the measured request of Joseph for the lifeless body. All is deathly quiet, for a body has been buried in a vault of the earth. …
We observe Holy Saturday with the gift (or is it the drawback?) of hindsight not available to its first observers. We typically spend this time readying flowered crosses, displaying lilies, and buying the food for gatherings of church and family that will mark Easter. There is much to be done, and we cannot pretend as if Easter has never come for us as it had not yet come for them [Jesus’ first disciples].
But our parable provides insight into this day’s vigil. Its implicit connection of grain falling to the earth with Jesus’ death invites us to patience and trust in life that is not seen and cannot be rushed. The object of Holy Saturday is not to get to Easter morning as quickly as possible. Rather, it is to give us time and opportunity to reflect on what it means to await life in the face of death – in fact, what it means to live life in the face of death.
– John Indermark
Parables and Passion
From pages 137-138 of Parables and Passion: Jesus’ Stories for the Days of Let by John Indermark. Copyright © 2006 by John Indermark. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Find time apart to reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ. Share your thoughts.
And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
John 19:42, NRSV
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This week we remember: Margaret Clitherow (March 25).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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