A few years ago, when I first started working in hospice, Easter felt like it took on a deeper significance for me. I cried when I went to the Good Friday service and thought of Jesus dying a physical death like the ones that I had seen. It struck me that He knew what that felt like. Then, on Easter Sunday I wept again to think of the promise that our bodies can be made like new and death is not the end of the story.
This year, the part of the Easter story that struck me the most were the days between when Jesus was crucified and when He was raised, those days that are mentioned briefly in the gospels but are not fully described.
At Good Friday services in the Evangelical church people often say, “Today is Friday, but Sunday is coming.” This year it struck me that the disciples immediately after Jesus’s death did not know that “Sunday was coming.” They were just trying to function and make sense of their lives while they endured through the Saturdays- the nebulous days between the death and resurrection.
It also struck me that when His followers did see Jesus again they hardly recognized Him. They mistook Him for the gardener when they met Him near the grave, they did not believe that He had appeared to the few gathered in the upper room, and they had full conversations with Him on the road to Emmaus without calling Him by name.
I would like to call the disciples at this point in the story The Saturday People. The Doubters and Faithless, the ones who helplessly watched Jesus die, the Grief Stricken, the Depressed and Anxious.
A lot of that sounds very familiar, and this fills me with a strange kind of Hope.
We could be like the disciples, utterly lost and confused- Faith broken and Hope scattered, hiding out in small groups for fear of discovery- and our only task is to know Him when He comes.
We must recognize Him.
Many times this year I have felt like one of The Saturday People. Faith has had new holes ripped in it and Hope has seemed like something far beyond my reach. But people have been Jesus to me this year. They have bled out their love in quiet service and by silently witnessing moments of heartbreak and despair. For all of this I am so deeply grateful. I want to continue to know Jesus as He shows me Himself in new ways this year- through words, music, nature, Love and tiny babies.
So, if you, like me, are one of The Saturday People on Easter of 2015, I would like to say that I think it is alright for us to doubt, to struggle and mourn, to loose and to hide, and to be bad at this spiritual life. And if I could do one thing right now it would be this.
I would bend in close and whisper, I still that think He’s coming. Lets keep our eyes open so that we don’t miss it.