A Word from Pastor Stephen – April 11, 2020
“Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” (James 5:7-8 NRSV)
In different traditions and places around the world, the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter morning has different names. Some refer to it as Low Saturday, Black Saturday, Holy Saturday, Great Saturday or Saturday of Mourning. For us it is basically a time of silence. Jesus has died for our sins. All the drama and action of Good Friday is over, but the resurrection is still to come. What do we do with this in-between time?
The disciples were in hiding. I’m sure they were uncertain about everything they had experienced with Jesus. Maybe His death on the cross was the end of it all. They were probably gripped with fear and uncertainty about what to do next. Saturday is silent. It feels like God and Jesus are silent as well.
Do we have the patience to sit in this silence? Can we trust that God is at work, even if we can’t see what He is doing at all times? On Holy Saturday this year, when everything seems to be going sideways, it sure does feel like God is silence. Why doesn’t God act? What am I supposed to do during this time?
In this passage of scripture, James urges us to be patient for the coming of the Lord. We are to wait like a farmer who knows it takes time for the crops to grow. I have to trust that Easter is coming. I have to trust that God will not leave Jesus in the grave. Maybe we need this space between Good Friday and Easter to reflect and consider what God is up to in our own lives. Are we ready for a risen Christ to change our lives? Are ready to take up our own cross and follow?
On this Holy Saturday be silent and still. Be patient as God is at work. Sunday is coming. Amen.