Holy Saturday

After Jesus died, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary watched Joseph of Arimathea wrap his broken body and place it in Joseph's own tomb, a new one, which had been hewn from the rock.  The women were sitting somewhere, perhaps on a low stone wall, opposite the tomb, watching.  They saw Joseph roll the great stone across to seal the door of the tomb.

The women were just sitting there, watching.  Almost certainly in sorrow.  Perhaps in shock and disbelief, but perhaps not.  After all, these things always happen - someone comes along and for a while there is hope, there is light and life, there is promise, and then it all gets dashed.

Then there is betrayal.  There is a mob.  There is violence.  There is blood.  There is death.

A violent and shameful death is not new, or even news.  Why should this time be any different from all the betrayals and violence and blood and death gone before?

That's where we are on this Holy Saturday, a day of waiting and perhaps reflecting.  We know the story.  We know what did happen and what's going to happen, and it is hard to pretend otherwise.  We don't need to pretend otherwise.  Even in the knowledge of what comes next, what we have the opportunity to do today, now, is to think about how this death - and what is coming after this death - is different.

Because a lot about this death is, frankly, not different.  How many people have gotten on the wrong side of the law or the authorities or the people and are done away with, one way or another?

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sat there watching, without hope.  The stone rolled across the door of the tomb, and that was that.

But we are not without hope.  And perhaps that is the difference.


Ray Barnes said…
A good 'bare bones' post Penny. Sometimes we need less 'window dressing' to help us see.

Dis you notice by-the-way that two of the trees on the left of your photograph are roughly cross-shaped?
Thanks, Ray! One of those "trees" - the short one behind the altar - is a cross made out of driftwood, stuck in a bucket of sand. This beautiful outdoor chapel is on the Outer Banks of North Carolina - the bay is in the background. One morning there were several fishermen out there. I wasn't able to get a photo of the fishermen and the chapel in one frame, but it was an evocative scene.
Nancy Wallace said…
The photo of the empty table and empty chapel speaks to me of the emptiness of grief. In the background is the sea which and somehow that evokes the sense of hope. Thank you for this. Have a great Easter Vigil and joyful Easter Day.
Thank you, Nancy, and blessed Easter to you!
Perpetua said…
Beautiful, Penny, and your thoughts reflect mine on the Quiet Day I went to yesterday. A very blessed Easter to you.
Blessed Easter to you, Perpetua! I hope you have some downtime scheduled for tomorrow, as I note elsewhere that you're out and about today!