Holy Saturday is a time of waiting. Good Friday has come and gone, and Easter has not yet arrived. There is quiet, and sadness, and a sense of strangeness that suits the present moment. Today, Jesus is between earth and heaven. You can almost hear the earth breathe.
It would be good to go for a walk early. Find some stones to put in your pocket. You’ll need them later. Look for signs of spring. You will find them. Aslan is on the move.
In our Brooklyn neighborhood we can walk to Prospect Park and still keep the required distance from others, but that’s another reason to go early. We can walk to the corner near the hospital, too, and pray for all those within.
When you arrive home, fish the stones from your pocket, wash them, dry them, and stack them, one on another, with a prayer for each stone. In the Book of Genesis, Jacob ran away in fear and spent the night in the desert. He took a stone and put it under his head for a pillow, and dreamed of angels moving up and down a ladder. When he woke, he said, “Surely God is in this place, and I did not know it! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” He anointed the stone with oil and left it there as a reminder.
God was in that place.
The women who stood at the foot of the cross on Friday waited at home on Saturday, the Sabbath, in quiet and sadness and strangeness. Did they know God was in that place?
A good song to sing or listen to is “There are Angels Hovering ‘Round.” Even if we cannot see them. Earth and heaven touch today.
In Celtic spirituality, there is a term for places where heaven and earth touch, where the veil between them is so thin it becomes translucent. Minister and poet Sharlande Sledge gives this description:
‘Thin places’, the Celts call this space,
Both seen and unseen,
Where the door between the world
And the next is cracked open for a moment
And the light is not all on the other side.
God shaped space. Holy.”
Holy Saturday is thin, I think.
Wendy Claire Barrie is the author of Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents.