Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sam Myrick

On Ash Wednesday, we began Lent together with a song of ascent. Psalm 130 started with crying out to God, but ended with hope for Gods deliverance. Today is Holy Saturday though, and Psalm 88 isnt so hopeful. Maybe we should call it a song of descent. It almost reads like an indictment toward God [stop and go read it if you havent yet. Then come back here. I will wait for you.]

However you might feel after reading Psalm 88, multiply it by a million to get some sense of what the disciples, friends, and family of Jesus must have felt like the day after his execution.

It is difficult for us to fully enter into it, isnt it? For weve already heard this story. We know that there's a happy endingresurrection and new life tomorrow! Well proclaim Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Easter hats and dresses have been selected. Easter eggs are dyed. Worship services have been planned. Tomorrow, there will be Good News. But the disciples didnt have the luxury of knowing that Good News was coming.

So weve done our best to place ourselves into the story during Lent, and thats been ramped up during these last three days - the Triduum. Like the first disciples weve experienced communion together on Maundy Thursday, and loss together on Good Friday. Now together we try to sit with the sense of confusion, unknowing, and abandonment that must have hung over the followers of Jesus on that Saturday.  

Today... Jesus is dead. Buried in a borrowed tomb. Today hope is dead. Today... God is dead. Silent. Gone. With the disciples and all of creation... we wait. For what, we dont know. But we dont have the energy, the vision, the heart, to go on. He was our heart.

So now were just waiting. We dont know what else to do.

Thats hard for us though. We dont wait. Its the 21st century, and weve just about destroyed the concept of waiting. Fast food. Get rich quick. Speed dating. Tickets on your phone. Computer on your phone. Phone on your wrist. Five years ago, binge-watching didnt exist. Now Netflix makes it where you dont even have to click to watch the next episode. It just starts right behind the previous one. We cant wait. We dont wait.

Before we rush to resurrection though, we must wait. We must dwell in this space of unknowing. We must sit holding death and life in tension with each other. We must be fully present to both the starkness of Friday and to the Saturday space between, so that we can more fully experience resurrection on Sunday. We must feel the loss - the kind of loss that happens again and again in this world, so that when new life dawns we can let it enter into that space that is carved by loss.

Holy Saturday really isnt that foreign to us. In Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday, the late Austin Seminary professor Alan Lewis points out that we live in Holy Saturday - between the cross and our final resurrection. This day of silence can remind us of much of our human condition: the ways we sometimes have to let go of people, or identities, or securities; the ways we wonder what will come of those losses; the general suffering that we experience; the times when we wonder if we will ever grasp joy again. Much of our lives rest in this space between loss and hope. Much of our lives are lived in silence.

Today, we are invited into this silence - to remember what was the most profound silence in the life of creation, but also in the life of God. God, whose Son, "of one being with the Father," now lies buried in the tomb. We join God's silence in those hours, and the silence of creation, the silence of death.

And we wait


Sam Myrick grew up in Louisiana, went to college in Arkansas, met his wife in Colorado, and now lives in Texas. He was a pastor for ten years. Now he hangs out with his wife and kids, tries to be a good friend, sells windows and doors, and writes when he can at You can follow him on Twitter @sam_myrick or on Facebook at


Post a Comment