Before I go jumping into Easter resurrection, I need to heed the call of Holy Saturday. Jesus could have been raised from the dead on Saturday, yep he could. But in his wisdom we have the open space of Saturday.

Two year ago I was given the gift of helping to take care of my Grandfather as he moved from this earth to heaven. Those last few days were rough to say the least. To watch someone you love in such pain and suffering takes a toll on body and spirit. When he finally took that last step into the full presence of God, I felt relief. “Oh God, thank you, he suffers no more.”

Good Friday is filled, for me at least, with that.

“Oh, God, that Jesus suffers no more!” For the first time in weeks, we rest. The one we love is finally safe and at peace.

As Holy Saturday dawns, relief is gone and grief sets in. “Oh, how I miss him!” Oh, what injustice. Loss, sadness. We need the space to grieve. Maybe on this Holy Saturday, we grieve the loss of a loved one, the loss of our innocents, and the loss of relationship. Maybe we are sad, but can’t really put our finger on the reason. People need space to grieve and our Father knows it. (Our Bible has a whole book called Lamentations, for crying out loud.)

And in case we think we need to push past Holy Saturday for our children, let me assure you, children need to grieve as well. Children are most acutely aware of loss. We, adults, struggle to let ourselves embrace grief and we certainly attempt to shield our children from it. It’s a facade we engage in for our own sanity. We cannot expose our children to Good Friday, without giving them the space to grieve on Holy Saturday.  The gift of Easter is sweeter, brighter; it works it’s miracle in the heart when Holy Saturday has space.

Our coffee table is set as an altar. A Christ candle was lit the first day of Advent and every day since. Yesterday at 3pm we finished reading the passion and, we blew it out and watch the smoke, like spirit, dissipate and drift from us.  We cried tears of relief. “Thank you God, this one we love suffers no more.”

Today that candle is cold. The altar empty. It calls our attention.  It opens space to grieve.

Starting Soon: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? Choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

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