Saturday, March 22, 2008
Holy Saturday is an interesting day in the Three Days or Holy Triduum. In the convent Holy Saturday is a day of silence and cleaning. The Stripping of the Altar has allowed all those things that have been out of reach all year on the altar to get a good polish, the wax removed. Nooks and crannies are attended to that have been ignored since Christmas. All is done with loving care and in silence.
Christ is entombed and so is our hope—put on hold to burst at dawn with Mary’s encounter in the garden.
Today is a beautiful day here in upstate. I can hear the robins declaring the spring. I am cooped up knowing that I cannot go greet that spring that has not yet come. I hear that some of my Midwest friends are digging out from under a foot of snow. It probably won’t be long before it arrives here. We have not seen the end of this winter, I fear. And despite the spring-like trapping advertised for Easter, the tomb is still cold. So I wait….
The thoughts of Good Friday are still in my head. Susan Russell, president of Integrity and assistant priest at All Saint’s, Pasadena, CA shared in her sermon
“Twenty years ago I got questions from a child wanting to know what’s good about Good Friday.
Today I get emails from children of God wanting to know what’s good about a church that chooses bigotry over the baptized; a communion that places its institutional preservation ahead God’s inclusive love; that seems to fall so short of being Body of Christ it was intended to be. It seems to many that we stand at a Good Friday moment in the church, as we watch those with dogmas they’re willing to kill for focus their resources on schism and division.
My answer is God is not finished with the church yet … or with ANY of us. But just as the dream of God could not be killed on Good Friday, the dream of a church where ALL are fully included in the Body of Christ is still alive and well in the hearts, minds and ministries of countless faithful witnesses throughout the Anglican Communion and beyond.
I continue in the tomb, knowing that God is not yet finished with me, with the Church, the parish yet. Yes, the dream is still there. The hope is still ready to spring forth. Yes, the parking lot will dry up. Yes, there is life after Lent. And most likely there will be more snow. Sping may not come as quickly as I hope but it will come. "The strife is o're and the battle is won." --But not just yet. That is the sentiment of Holy Saturday.