Liminal Saturday

Doorway-WallpaperJohn 19:38-42

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

 

Today is an in-between day. It’s the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Good Friday is the day when Christians remember the crucifixion of their Lord, Jesus Christ. On Easter Sunday we celebrate that Jesus was raised from the dead and lives again! But this Saturday has no name. It is simply the Saturday between. It is liminal space, an in between time, a threshold between one place and another. It is a waiting space. That time when we wait for what we know is to come.

Coming at the end of Holy Week, in a weekend where every day has a name: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, this Saturday seems left out of the mix. So what are Christians supposed to do on this Liminal Saturday? What do you suppose the followers of Jesus did on this day? I imagine them sleeping, exhausted by the life changing events that had taken place in the last couple of days. I imagine them huddled together, no one speaking, going over the events in their minds over and over again. I imagine them reading scripture together. Occasionally one of them would say “If only we had… perhaps he would still be alive” or “What are we going to do now?” I imagine them praying, silently and together, hoping that God would show them how to get through this time, what to do next.

Perhaps, like the disciples, we are supposed to wait. Perhaps on this Liminal Saturday, we should spend some time being quiet and listening for God. Jesus is in the tomb. He is dead. We should read scripture, pray, and listen for God to tell us what to do next. We have an advantage over Jesus’ followers at the time of his death. We know that the crucifixion is not the end of the story. We know what will happen tomorrow. But in the meantime, until the sun rises on Easter Sunday morning, we should wait. And listen. Waiting for God to show us the rest of the story.

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