Holy Saturday is a day that does not get the attention it deserves. Not many of us like to wait, especially to wait in the dark of a tomb. We prefer to bask in the light. We want to be in control. Being the source of grief is not a life-long goal of most of ours. Few of us strive to be a burden. Why can we not wait here in the darkness?
Holy Saturday has important lessons for us. When I thought about that tomb on Holy Saturday this morning in prayer, a different image came to my mind. I heard laughter in that tomb. I saw hope dance. I saw joy join in. I saw despair and sorrow leaning against the rock of that cave. They were not inside. Fear was locked behind closed doors elsewhere. Anxiety paced back and forth outside. Inside that dark cave is the Light, the stunning and glorious Light that is never extinguished.
Waiting is not easy for most of us. As I wait for the next step in my medical journey, I feel the anxiety of those who wait with me. I know that people want a diagnosis and a plan. As one of my friends says, she wants those nasties out as soon as possible. I am grateful that fear is not taking up residence within me. It tried the other night to gain squatter’s rights. I was tired. It was late. The persistent cough got the best of me. I could feel fear scratching at the door, whispering rumours about my lungs. I sighed and went to bed instead. I awoke the next morning refreshed.
There are no shortcuts on my journey. I cannot roll that stone away too soon. I have to wait in the darkness and not give it power. I choose to dance instead. I clasp hands with hope and joy. I leave sadness and hopelessness on the other side of this tomb. I invite the silence to calm me. Amazing grace wraps her arms around me. Beauty buoys me. Angels are all around me. That empty tomb is a place of comfort and joy.
Tonight we will light the sacred fire and the truth of the tomb will be known. There is no reason to fear. The Alpha and the Omega will dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds. On this most sacred of nights, we will see that the tomb held goodness and glory. The Morning Star never set in that tomb. In our darkest nights, we are promised Light. This holiest of nights we will gather in community and proclaim the many readings that root us in hope, a hope that shines upon our path to show us the way through the dark spots. I have said from the beginning that I am in good hands because I am in God’s hands. Each reading of the Holy Saturday Vigil reveals a God in control. The rock will be rolled away at an acceptable time. Truth will rise. The truth is that the tomb holds not your broken dreams but dreams that are too spectacular to even imagine. Hope will bring peace to hearts. Joy will come in the morning, but in the meantime, it dances in the darkness of the tomb. Will you join in?