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April 3 -- "Silence"

We have a name for the Thursday before Jesus’ death: Maundy Thursday.

We have a name for the day that followed: Good Friday.

We have a name for the Sunday of Jesus’ resurrection: Easter.

But we don’t have a name for the Saturday after Good Friday. I’d like to suggest one: “Silent Saturday.”

The Bible is silent about the day after Jesus’ crucifixion. We aren’t told what the disciples were doing or thinking. We aren’t given any snippets of conversation that might have taken place between them.

Maybe that’s because there was nothing but silence. Maybe the group just sat there. Maybe no one was able to find the words to describe the feelings they were having. Maybe Saturday was silent – Silent Saturday.

I remember a hospital visit I made in the early part of my ministry. A dearly loved matriarch of the family was dying. She had been slowly slipping away for days and the family had all hunkered down in her room. On the day I am recalling, I went into the room and was met by total silence. There were six family members there, two were standing over their mother/grandmother holding her hands, the others sat silently in their chairs.

As a pastor I knew I was expected to say something, but I sensed it would be sacrilegious to break what I immediately felt was a holy silence. I saw an empty chair beside one of the family members and I took it. For the next ten minutes I just sat there. Silence. At first I was uncomfortable saying nothing, but I kept hearing the Holy Spirit whispering to me, “Not now. Not yet.” And so, the silence was kept.

Only after that time did I finally speak. I read Scripture. I let Jesus’ voice break the silence with His powerful words of hope and comfort. Afterwards I quietly left, leaving the family to rest in the silence again.

What do we say on this Saturday where we find ourselves locked between the pain of Friday and the hope of Sunday? Maybe what is called from us today, is not to do much of anything, or say anything at all. Maybe today we find a place to be quiet and ponder Jesus. Maybe today we commit to silence and let it become holy.

~ God bless, Dan

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