Connecting Beyond the Walls


 Today’s word of hope comes to us from our own Rev. Brent Greene, interim minister of discipleship.

 New Sunday clothes, dyed eggs with the smell of vinegar, Easter bonnets, Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs, spring flowers, family dinner with ham and deviled eggs. These are just a few of the favorite items that come to the mind during this time of year. Although these might be the favorites of many, the sacred items and traditions of other christians are quite different. In so many ways, the secular traditions celebrating the modern Easter season are quite the opposite to the very solemn day that rests between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. 

For centuries, this Saturday marks the final day of Christ’s death, which is traditionally associated with Christ’s triumphant descent into hell. Unlike the feel good events of 21st century America with Easter Egg Hunts and fun arts and crafts activities, the early church marked the end of Lent with large baptismal ceremonies. For centuries, most parishes offered very simple worship services or no services at all on Holy Saturday. Beginning in 1955, the Roman Catholic Church and some other denominations restored the practice of offering an evening Easter Vigil although the Eastern Orthodox churches had never abandoned the ceremony. The vigil celebration might include lighting fires and candles to symbolize Christ’s passing from death to life and tolling bells to signify the joyous end of Lent. Some congregations and parishes celebrate the baptism of new followers of Christ and offer first communion to new communicates. In so many ways, the last day of Lent sounds similar to what might occur at a Christmas Eve service in the year 2020.

Over 2000 years ago, Holy Saturday must have been a day of great sorrow for the disciples of Jesus. The great prophet, teacher, healer, Son of God and Son of Man was nowhere to be found serving or ministering. Christ lay in the tomb.

As we remember this day of waiting, of hoping, of silence, and sadness, I invite you to practice the following on this Easter Eve…

  1. Take time to be quiet and sit prayerfully waiting with God for Easter to arrive.
  2. Light a candle or build a fire in expectation of the light to come in only a few more hours.
  3. Reflect on your first baptism and communion from years ago and sit in the presence of God who loves you so. Better yet, pray for someone who needs to know Jesus and his great love.

Easter is coming….
The day is not here as of yet….
Now…, wait and prepare.

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