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Holy Saturday

Today’s Reflection

“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.”
–John 12:24

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.

Today’s Question

Find time apart to reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

John 19:42, NRSV

This Week: pray for opportunities to serve. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Margaret Clitherow (March 25).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 31 comments… add one }

  • Sara March 26, 2016, 6:02 am

    On this Holy Saturday may we take time to reflect on the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

    Blessings today to the UR family.

  • Carol March 26, 2016, 6:02 am

    Decades ago, the busy preparations for Easter in the home and church left little time for quietness on this Saturday. It was a thought tucked quietly away in my heart and mind, to dwell on as I did other tasks. Now I appreciate the quiet opportunities on this Saturday, still preparing, in much smaller ways for a smaller family gathering and much less busyness in the church. I will check on a couple friends by phone and visit, extending God’s love to them.

  • Jill March 26, 2016, 6:27 am

    Today will provide opportunity for me to take a walk, take in nature and the beginnings of Spring. The weather is supposed to be sunny and mild – and I am going to hike on an unfamiliar trail. I will take my time and try to be aware of the intricacies of nature, as well as the rhythms of my heart – as I ponder the stillness of this day so many years ago.
    So grateful to have a lazy morning – awakened by the birds. I am usually up before the birds and they join me in my quiet time – with their background hallelujahs. This morning – their voices rose first, and I took in that simple blessing. Father – I look forward to what You have in store for me this day.

  • Rusty March 26, 2016, 6:52 am

    Like Jill, I will be taking my normal Satiurday walk shortly. I like the idea of going an unfamiliar way this Holy Saturday. Thanks Jill.

    The reading today sets just the right tone for contemplation. The tension between our knowing what happened with the resurrection and the disciples’ unknowing is important. As for whether hindsight is a gift or a drawback, I think it is a gift. Last year I read a good book called God on Mute by Pete Greig. One of the premises of the book is that we are, in a sense, all living life on Holy Saturday. We experience pain, sometimes shocking, horrible tragedy, and we feel an aching longing for it all to end. We wait. We cope. We wonder. We cry. Yet we know (even if the disciples didn’t) the battle has been won for us.

  • Andrea March 26, 2016, 7:37 am

    I also think of the devastating sense of loss the two Marys and the disciples experienced on this day, one day following Jesus’ horrible death by crucifixion. What misery and desolation. It is important to know that this kind of deep sorrow and/or trauma is part of life for so many good people. Yet in it is the seed of resurrection. A spiritual director taught me that dark times are richly fertile with possibility. It is a hard place to be, but with faith, hope and love, and by grace, we make it through and emerge to something new. I pray for new opportunities to serve You. Wishing Holy Saturday blessings to all in the UR community.

  • Betsy March 26, 2016, 7:47 am

    Thoughtful reading today. Tenebrae Service last night was sobering, dark and full of emotion. I like we have this respite in stillness before the celebration; to reflect, pray, think. A walk in the stillness sounds good, Jill. Praying for all our UR family as we enter this time together.

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    I am reminded that many people die through suffering trauma, in war, destitution, displacement, abuse, and other injustices. May I be mindful of more ways to serve.

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