Counting the days
Easter Day already seems a long time ago, but we are still in the Easter season. We counted the days through Lent - forty days of fasting. Then came Palm Sunday and Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Day.
But what about the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Day? That strange waiting time, a day caught between grief and joy, despair and hope. Thought the first time round the disciples didn't know that joy and hope were on their way. They just knew the grief and the despair.
But first came Thursday. That last supper, all the loud talk and laughter that goes with a meal shared with friends. Then suddenly serious: bread broken, wine poured - a sign of things to come. Then out into the cold evening air under the olive trees. Will he stay or will he run? Escape would be so easy - just leg it up the hill and away... But he stays. Is arrested, held overnight.
Then came Friday. Torture, a mockery of a trial, execution. By all accounts a very nasty way to go. Strung up by nine in the morning, dead by three in the afternoon. Corpse left hanging until the evening. An abject lesson for passers-by.
And then Saturday. Jesus' friends in shock. Distraught, grief-stricken - and very afraid. Their leader... gone. Their friend... gone. Hopes and dreams... all gone. That Saturday comes as a good reminder that signing up with Jesus doesn't exempt from the bad things in life. Being a Christian doesn't give you a 'get out of suffering free' card. But then comes the first day of the new week. The first day of the new everything. Easter Day. The stone rolled back, new life bursting from the sealed tomb. A new beginnning - for all of us - if we want it. Every day our Easter Day...
With love for the Easter season.