On this Holy Saturday

Written Saturday, April 11, 2020

Dearest friends and family,

I hope you are well in these times.

Today is Holy Saturday—a day that I grew up knowing only as the agonizing waiting period between the solemnity and fasting of Good Friday, and the bountiful glory of Easter Sunday (complete with the extravagant brunches and naps that would ensue). But on this Holy Saturday in the time of coronavirus, everything seems extra…slow. It is as if God asks us to wait—to pause—a little while longer in contemplation of his death and resurrection. It is in this waiting that I felt inspired to share what’s been on my heart:

Today, God speaks to me through a subtlety in John 19:38: “After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for the fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus…”

How easy might it be to replace Joseph of Arimathea with our own names, and the fear of the Jews with something that we fear more than we fear our God?

Lucy, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of her classmates’ and colleagues’ opinions… Lucy, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of her professional reputation, for fear of being ridiculed by those in the scientific community, for fear of not knowing enough theology, for fear of not being able to live up to the moral standards of faith, for fear of failure, for fear of…

Yet, what I find redemptive in this verse is the vital role that Joseph of Arimathea played in the arc of the Gospel on this fateful Holy Saturday— if he had never buried Jesus, we would have never seen Him rise from the tomb the next morning. Oh, how God can use even the most timid in His grand plan for humanity!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to pause—to rest—in the goodness of our LORD. How did the disciples feel on Saturday, right after the death of someone they so trusted, right before he was prophesied to rise? Fear, perhaps. Uncertainty. Questioning whether Christ’s promises were even true. Maybe not so unlike the feelings we may all have nowadays as the weekdays and weekends all blend together…as we wonder when we’ll see the light at the end of this coronavirus tunnel.

Yet, as believers, we all know that the unrest and mourning of Holy Saturday is resolved in the glorious dawn of Easter Sunday, in Christ’s Resurrection. Indeed, our whole salvation rests on the validity of this historical event, a concept that continues to boggle my mind the more I meditate on it.

As the Psalmist writes, “but joy comes in the morning,” my hope and prayer for us all in these uncertain times is to pause, to embrace, and to reflect on Christ’s love and sacrifice for us even as we wait for more joyous times. To ask ourselves, what is it in our lives that we fear and love more than Christ? To reflect on the fact that even in our brokenness and inadequacy, that we may still be vessels of His Love in a world that desperately needs it.

Have a blessed Holy Saturday and a cheerful Easter Sunday, my friends 🙂 I miss you all dearly.

In Christ,
with Love,


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