(Andy-I think you’ll be pleased at the brevity.)
I think my status sums up my feelings about Holy Saturday and Easter Vigil very nicely, and I don’t like reinventing things.
“The candles in the sanctuary are lit again. Signifying the presence of my Lord once again. I know it’s a candle, and part of me thinks it symbolic, rather than real. That our Risen King doesn’t actually go away for one day each liturgical year, but the church on Holy Saturday is cold and dark, and it hurts me to think about that Saturday all those years ago. And once more I weep in gratitude for the empty tomb and the end of my King’s suffering, and the beginning of our Redemption.”
The fact is that Holy Saturday scares me. It HURTS me. The Church, the place that has provided me peace when NOTHING made sense, the place where I was Ransomed, the place of safety, it’s dark and cold. And utterly lonely. Two thousand years ago on Holy Saturday, He was gone. It’s commonly believed that He was in Perdition, causing an earthquake, but I kind of believe that we are all being subtly influenced by a certain Italian vernacular poet in our impressions of that. But I don’t know-I wasn’t there. But the idea of a world without my King, without the Man and Son of God that made my Redemption possible, well, it’s scary. And here’s where my very human and not at all neurotic control issues rare their ugly heads. What if He hadn’t risen? What if something had gone wrong? What if, down there (regardless of the specific scenario, He was outside of the presence of God, His Father…a terrible place) something had gone awry? (True confessions time: I’m worried about running out of things to do in the hereafter. I mean, ETERNITY? I can’t think about that too hard. I’ve got a STACK of books that I need to catch up on, but what then?) (Nope, not neurotic at all.)
And-I know, that’s where the faith part comes in. It didn’t go awry, because it was part of God’s Plan. But I come from a LONG tradition of worriers. The fact is that faith is something that I struggle with. I’d say daily, but the reality is that it is far more frequent than that. It’s part of the “dying to self” and “recognizing that control is truly an illusion” thing, but those are VERY HARD lessons to learn. Particularly for someone who Does What I Do. I’m kind of hoping that I learn how to do those things before I slip this mortal coil.
But the amazing thing is that God, in all of His wisdom, loves us, neuroses and all. (He’d probably prefer I work on these issues.) And it’s because of that Love, that Amazing Grace, that on Easter Sunday, the tomb was empty. Because of that unending Patience, Love, and Grace, the Church has light on Easter Sunday, the Church is warm, is peaceful, and feels again like my temporal home. And I can’t think about that too hard or I start to cry again, and The Sir does NOT like it when I cry.
Okay, so the brevity bit got kind of tossed somewhere in the middle there, Andy, but I had thoughts.
This concludes my three part attempt at being thoughtful and serious. Please tune in tomorrow when we will be discussing why it is that I cannot keep a cell phone alive longer than a Dollar Store goldfish, what the Easter Bunny brings to old people who are self-employed, and probably some other RIVETING subjects.
PS-I know not all of my readers are of my faith, or of any faith. Please do not take the prior three posts as some kind of judgment on your beliefs, please know that I love you all, and respect your beliefs immensely. This year, it felt time to get back to my faith. I claim no expertise, these were just my thoughts. It was intense, having non-television related thoughts for three whole days. Whew.