Devotional for Silent Saturday: April 11, 2020
Help, God - the bottom has fallen out of my life! Master, hear my cry for help!
Listen hard! Open your ears! Listen to my cries for mercy.
If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance?
As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that's why you're worshiped.
I pray to God - my life - a prayer - and wait for what he'll say and do.
My life's on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.
O Israel, wait and watch for God - with God's arrival comes love, with God's arrival comes generous redemption.
No doubt about it - he'll redeem Israel, buy back Israel from captivity to sin.
Psalm 130: 1-8 The Message
Today is what some call Silent Saturday. We have had Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Tomorrow is Easter, but what is today? It is a day of silence. We know that the Day of Resurrection is tomorrow, but the disciples and all of Jesus’s followers did not possess that knowledge. Can you imagine the deep, heavy grief they were feeling on this day? When they woke up after Jesus’s crucifixion, they had to be saying to themselves, “Was that just a bad dream?” Then as they awoke and began to come out of their sleeping areas, they began to realize that the nightmare had really happened.
I believe that the term “Silent Saturday” is used to describe this day, because spiritually, Christ’s followers must have felt that God was silent. What Jesus’ disciples did not know, of course, is that Silent Saturday would be followed by Easter Sunday, the Day of Resurrection.
They had such high hopes, only to see them dashed, when their Lord was put up on that cross. And now he was dead. All hope seemed lost…
In a sense, I think we can all relate to those feelings. Are we in a bad dream? No, but we may have a sense of helplessness, and hopelessness, just as the disciples did. Right now, it is our time of silence. What are you doing with these endless days of silence? After the crucifixion of Jesus, they had one full day. It was what had to be a very long day. What did they do that day?
Scripture doesn’t tell us much about that day, other than that Jesus’s body was prepared for burial. He was wrapped in new linen cloths, and placed in the tomb. Matthew says that after the large stone had been rolled over the entrance to the tomb, Mary Magdalene and Jesus’s mother Mary stayed, sitting in plain view of the tomb.
I can’t even imagine the depth of their sorrow and weeping! I also believe they were praying. These were women who had sat and listened to Jesus’s words and promises, whenever they had an opportunity. They had heard Jesus talk of hope and mercy. They knew that even if Jesus’s body was dead, His love and mercy had not ceased. They prayed!
What are we doing on our Silent Saturdays? Right now, I think that many of us feel like we are living our own Silent Saturdays over and over. Every day we see the death toll numbers climbing from the virus. It’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed with hopelessness, but Easter is coming.
These days many people have more “down time” than they have ever had in their lives. I’ve seen lots of funny comments about getting all those home projects done. Some say that the thrift stores will be flourishing after everyone has been cleaning out their closets. But what are you cleaning out?
I believe that with all that is going on, we are experiencing many Silent Saturdays. We have always had Silent Saturdays, but today is the one marked for the preparation for Christ’s resurrection. Remember that even though there are always going to be troubles, there will always be accompanied by Christ’s mercies. We know that Jesus is alive. Tomorrow, we will celebrate once again the greatest gift God has ever given to us. Today, prepare your hearts: God’s promises are always around the corner.
In these days of silence, we can turn towards You, or away from You. May we not scatter like the disciples. Instead, help us to wait patiently, with prayerful hearts, even when You seem silent. Let us cling to Your promises, even in the midst of what some view as hopelessness. We pray this prayer in the name of the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.