Today might be my favorite day of the year because it represents the bulk of life. Holy Saturday…the day between death and resurrection, pain and healing, despair and celebration. A day full of unanswered questions, dashed dreams, and unfulfilled longings. We usually think of it as a day of waiting for Sunday, but that gets it all wrong. Because on that first Saturday, no one understood what was going to happen on Sunday, even though Jesus had told them. No one was waiting for anything. I think they were all numb and in shock and trying to process all that happened. With that, they also had faith in a good God, and I believe they had a glimmer of hope for the future even if they had no idea what that would look like.
So for any of us still reeling from life’s blows — whether they happened yesterday or long ago — I want to encourage us to lean into Saturday. Grieve, lament, go scream somewhere, or pound hard on a pillow. This is not a day for pie-in-the-sky answers. This is a day to mourn and feel and question. AND to hope. But be aware — as my teacher and friend, Dan Allender has warned — most of us actually hate hope. Because hope holds no guarantees. Hope is hard work. It’s far easier to escape into despair, or drugs, or sex, or food, or TV, or shopping…anything to prevent us from feeling the tension of hope in the midst of pain.
Yeah, we all know “Sunday” is coming tomorrow. But what if we didn’t? And what if we don’t? Yes, the day on the calendar will change. And we will celebrate Christ’s resurrection. And the final resurrection is ahead for those of us in Christ. But will we see “Sunday” in the midst of broken families, health problems, financial crises, deep emotional scars, the death of dreams? Maybe…maybe not.
So we wait.
And we hope.