Lent: In between days

When hope has gone, when nothing happens, nothing changes.

Grave. Aleksey Savraov

Grave, Aleksey Savraov

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. (Luke 23: 50-54)

The day of the tomb

Some days make special claims upon us – birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries. Other days are easily forgotten. These are the days with no distinguishing features, days of monotony. In between days.

Good Friday has a special claim upon us, as does Easter Sunday. Easter Saturday is the in between day. The day when Christ was dead and not yet alive. Between the day of death and the day of resurrection is the day of the tomb. A day of cold, dank, darkness. When hope has gone, when nothing happens, nothing changes. The awful reality of Christ's death does not change all through that day. He is here, and he has not risen. Not today.

Nothing and everything

For the first disciples there was a further insult – it was the Sabbath, the holy day, the day set aside for worship of God. How can we sing when the song has died? Praise falters, tears flow.

My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" Psalm 42:3

It is hard to dwell in Easter Saturday. Especially in a culture which values cutting to the important bit, skipping the track we don't like, watching only the highlights. It is a day of waiting, without any knowledge that the next day will be better.

If our faith has no place for such a day, it questions what place our faith can have. The in between days matter, their tears are counted. The days in which nothing changes are inextricably linked to the days in which everything does.

David McNeish