Saturday, March 30, 2013


One of the lessons of Holy Saturday: God is dead.

I don't know, entirely, what that means. I hate Holy Saturday, and feel perfectly incapable of doing much of anything on this day. Every year, it's the same.

There's a transitive property about this day: Holy Saturday as a model of Christian life, caught between the already and the not yet, well aware of the death of things and yet still hoping against hope for their resurrection, leaning, working, striving toward new life.

Surely, that is a faithful posture to take in the world. Surely, that is a good way to live one's Christian life, to spend days in service, mission, and committed activity.

But on this actual Holy Saturday, I can't bring myself to DO anything. I do not want to serve. I do not want to strive. I do not want to work my fingers to the bone for the sake of the Kingdom.

On Holy Saturday, all I am capable of is lament. That's all I've got.

Surely, the disciples felt this way. Surely Jesus' friends spent this day in mourning, confusion, weeping. Can't we also learn to lament? Isn't this also a faithful posture to take in the world?

God is dead. And death is all around us. I can name seventeen encounters of death and dying I've had this week alone: illness, addiction, abuse, war, betrayal, greed, abandonment. Sin abounds. Brokenness rules the day.

Tomorrow, things will be different. I know the story. But today is not tomorrow. And thank God, it is also not yesterday. God died yesterday. God will rise tomorrow. And indeed there will be time, in those days after, for working and leaning and striving and serving.

But today...

Can't we just admit it? Can't we give ourselves an hour or two to grieve? Can't we find some space to call upon the Psalms, like Jesus did himself? Can't we just lament?

God is dead. Lord, have mercy.

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