The day of which no one speaks

Posted: 26 March, 2016 in My stuff

twilight_zoneIntroduction

The record of the events of the Saturday of Easter is blank, apart from a very brief mention in Matthew’s story where the Roman’s seal the tomb and set a guard absolutely nothing is said.

It is the day of which no one speaks.

So there is no passage from Luke for us to read.  That, at least for me, is a cause to reflect on the apparent silence of God.  In this case the apparent silence of God on a day of immense pain, confusion and doubt.

I suspect that all of us, card-carrying, born again, bible toting believers and wanderers and wanderers alike, have all had days, if not longer periods,  when we are deeply aware of the silence of god.

 

Jesus was crucified, publicly.  He died.  His body was taken from the cross and handed over the a relative stranger.  His body was taken to rock-hewn tomb relatively close to the site of his execution.  The women who knew Jesu and who had followed him from Galilee now followed to see where his body was laid.  Knowing where he was they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.”

While we know what the women did we have no record whatsoever of the men’s whereabouts or actions on that day.

Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath, the day of rest.  It appears that they did what was required and rested.

 

Reflection

There is a space where one thing ends and before another begins.  That gap between the bottles lodged in the fridge door.  The space between the knife and fork when the table is set and before the plate arrives.  The time between your scheduled appointment and when the doctor calls your name.  It is an empty space.  It is known as the liminal space.  It is ambiguous, it is neither this nor that, and can be disorienting.  We are often uncomfortable with liminal space and try to fill it with something, usually a distraction.  Sitting the doctor’s waiting room I bet you pull your phone out and browse Facebook!  

Liminality, while it looks like empty space.  Just like nature, we don’t like empty space so we fill it.  The real challenge is to be present in the space, to feel the emptiness, and to feel your response to it.  This is where we grow.

I wanted to fill the gap, the liminal space, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

I chose to sit and listen.

It was the day of rest, so the women rested.  They had work to do but they did not do it.  Sabbath, from the word for seventh, was part and parcel of Jewish culture.  Its origins go back the creation myth of the Jewish people where god creates over six days and rests the seventh, inviting the pinnacle of his creation, humanity, to join him in that rest.  The idea of rest is not what most of us would think.  It is more akin to entering into a time and place that has been fully prepared for so as to enjoy it and those you share that space with.  

Sabbath is reiterated a few times in the hebrew scriptures.  One is during the escape from Egypt where Sabbath is included in the ten ‘matters’ of God.  It stands in contrast to ‘rest’ as is understood by their former Egyptian overlords.  Rest, for them, was what you did when you were dead.  So rest for the Hebrews was what you did when you were free!

It come up again when the Israelite nation were taken into captivity by the Babylonians.  Again the Babylonians had a sabbath rest but their rest was from work not because they needed to rest but because Sabbath days were considered evil and to do work on the sabbath was to risk making wrong economic or managerial decisions.  The rested out of fear.

So rest for the Jews was what you did when you trusted in your god.

Sabbath rest has been an opportunity to reflect on what has gone before and trust that what is yet to come is in the hands of a god who acts in love and keeps his promises.  Sabbath is an act of faith.

The women rested.  The women acted in faith.  The women, who had just witnessed the Roman execution of Jesus, believed that Rome was not in charge, God was.  And their God is a God of liberation not of slavery.  The women rested in faith not fear, believing that hand greater than that of Roman power was actually guiding events.

The women sat in this liminal space; knowing what had gone before but not knowing what was yet to come.  They sat in faith.
Remember a time when you have been at the end of one thing and before the beginning of another?  How did you feel?  What did you do?  What are you going to do next time you are in the liminal space?

 

Burning Bush

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Comments
  1. Reiki This says:

    Apparently I read your blogs when in liminal space LOL Glad I now have a name for that space, makes it seem real, valid and valuable.

    I also now have the twilight zone theme song as an ear worm, thanks 😏

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