Saturdays are for the boys.
As I struggled to write the intro to this blog, my husband offered this opening sentence as his contribution.
We both laughed it off, then I wrote it down at the top of my word document, and now here it is. The perfect intro.
Because despite the joking nature of it, that’s really the truth, right? Saturdays are for the boys. At least they always use to be. Saturdays are for games of giant Jenga at Brother’s Bar in Broad Ripple. Saturdays are for mimosa brunches and long walks along the canal.
When I think of Saturdays, my modern mind instantly wants to breathe a sigh of relief and welcome relaxation.
Saturdays are not a day to grieve. They are not a day to feel anxious or worried. They are not a day to feel hopeless.
Except for one Saturday.
I feel like this Easter season was the first to ever point out the significance of that Saturday squished in between Friday’s death and Sunday’s resurrection.
It might have had something to do with the waiting and anxious nature of COVID-19 this season, but for the first time in my life, people were imploring me to really consider the feeling that Saturday had to offer. For the first time in my life, I considered and related to every hopeless fear that the day had to bring for those who loved and followed Christ.
For the first time in my life, I recognized my own seasons of Saturday- including this one that I have been living in since October.
I feel like we have been in a season of Saturday, a season of waiting, a season of fighting off hopelessness, ever since we found out that my husband’s tumors had metastasized to his lungs. This has been a nine-month season of fear. Every day, every scan, we hoped for good news, signs that we were heading back in the right direction. But every conversation since that day has been hard, every scan has been worse.
The classic church response to this is, “But Sunday is coming,” and we hold that close to heart, and we long for that day, but I think there is so much more to a season of Saturday, to the Holy Saturday, than just what comes after.
I think the point we miss when thinking about Holy Saturday, is what was happening beyond the flesh.
We consider the apostles and their hopelessness as they fear that their own dreams died on that cross with Christ. We grieve for Mary as she begins life without her son. We hurt for Mary Magdalene, attempting to rest on this day, as required by law, but believing that tomorrow, she will have to find a way to move an impossibly heavy stone to anoint Christ’s body.
It is so easy to think about and grieve what was happening in the flesh that day, because the flesh is what we know. It is what we are familiar with. These are the people and stories that we relate to.
But what we don’t always think about when we think of both that Saturday, and our own seasons of Saturday, is what is happening in the spirit. What is going on beyond the flesh. As we weep, as we grieve, as we wait in a puddle of our own pain and tears, what is happening in the spirit?
Are armies of angels fighting in our name as prayers arise from every angle?
Is God collecting every tear in a cup?
Is he grieving with us, even as he knows what Sunday will bring?
We often think that the redeeming factor of Saturday, the only reason we can survive it, is because Sunday is coming. And though, in our own current season, we believe it is, and though we rejoice for that, there is so much more to celebrate about your season of Saturday. There is something so powerful happening beyond our realm of comprehension.
Thinking back to that monumental Holy Saturday- when we take the time to look beyond flesh, when we take the time to not push forward toward Sunday, but actually rest in Saturday, when we take the time to consider what was happening in the heavenly realms simultaneously to human grief, we see a fight for victory. We can see that Christ was pursuing souls. He was seeking the kingdom. He was in a fight for us, for our salvation. He was ripping the key of life straight from Satan’s grasp. Christ was winning the victory in our name.
And he still is.
He is still winning victory in your name, in my name, in my husband’s name.
If this is what was happening in this monumental season of Saturday, who is to say this season of Saturday that I’m in, that you’re in, is any different? Who is to say that this earthly battle, this medicine battle, is not also a divine battle? Who is to say that as we, as humans, fight to survive here in the flesh, there isn’t also a fight in the spiritual realms- a fight of God’s fierce love for us, his relentless pursuit for what is good?
There is power in Sunday. There is hope in Sunday. But victory was achieved on Saturday.
We believe Sunday is coming. We believe victory will be achieved. But we also recognize that today as we wait, today as our flesh grieves, something huge is happening beyond us.
Today we sit in a season of Saturday- but we rejoice, not just because Sunday is coming, but because the heavenly realms fight for us today.