31st March 2018

An Empty Day

(from www.lifeandwork.org.uk)

 

The Rev Margaret Forrester asks what is in our emptiness this Holy Saturday

 

"What happened on Saturday after Jesus died?" a child asked.

"Nuffink happened," his sister replied. "It was an empty day."

The gospels record that 'they rested as it was the Sabbath'.

But what did they do in the emptiness? Peter, Judas, John, Thomas, James? They with whom he had broken bread and shared the cup. They who had heard him wrestle in prayer. They who had witnessed the arrest and then fled into the night. What was in their emptiness?
Self loathing? Terror? Disillusionment?

At this time in the gospels the disciples who are women are given names. So what did they do? They stayed at the cross. Mary the mother, Mary of Magdala, Salome, Joanna, Mary, mother of James and John, the wife of Cleopas named by John as Mary (but he did tend to call all women Mary).
That evening they prepared spices for the embalming.
What was in their emptiness?
Planning? Disbelief? Mourning?

This Saturday, what is in our emptiness? Is it a closed emptiness? Are we turned in on ourselves? Like Peter and the apostles. Or is it an open emptiness? Like Mary of Magdala, ready to step into the garden of death without expectation but that she would be nearer to Jesus.

Prayer
In our sorrow and faithlessness help us to take a step forward into that garden. To take a step on the wet grass though our eyes are swollen with tears and our heart bursting with pain.
Amen


The Rev Margaret Forrester is the former minister of Edinburgh: St Michael's Church. In next month's Life and Work, she reflects on the 50th anniversary of women being admitted to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Church of Scotland. Subscribe

Never More Alone: A reflection for Good Friday by Ron Ferguson

Tomorrow: reflection for Easter Day by the Rt Rev Derek Browning



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