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Holy Saturday

On this day, as Jesus lay, dead, in the tomb, the disciples remained scattered in fear, and the women watched, and waited, for they knew not what …

Scripture reading: Matthew 27: 57–61


Living God, we are come,
with Joseph and the Marys, 
to the place of death and despair. 
With them, we have seen the awful power of hatred, 
fear and greed, 
having its way with frail flesh 
and that once so fragrant hope. 
With them, we have felt the shock of iron on bone, 
of state power on puny mortals, 
of religious righteousness on the faint freedom of faith. 
With them we have heard that well-loved voice go silent, 
seen that deeply desired face fall vacant, 
the eyes grow dim, 
the flesh turn cold. 
Death has had its way with all that they, and we, 
held most dear; 
and we have felt the first fear, 
the beginnings of the awful loneliness, 
the emptiness
where fullness once was, 
ought still to be. 

Dear God, you know that we have been here before. 
Been here, not just with Joseph and the Marys, 
but on our own, 
watching a loved one die; 
or with friends and family, 
paying our last respects at the door of death 
to one who has gone through ahead of us all. 
We are not strangers to death, 
we know its ways.

Dear God, help us, now as before, 
to hold our hand from any final action; 
to hold our breath from any final word. 
Teach us, once again, 
the truth of our creatureliness:
that we are not the masters of our fate, 
we are not the captains of our souls. 
Keep us open to the possibilities of God 
throughout this watchful night; 
and in the face of every dying 
with which our lives are filled from our first cry 
to our final breath, 
help us to know that the final word lies with you, 
and that that word is a resounding YES. 

We ask this in the name of this same dead Jesus 
in whom all the possibilities of God wait their time. 

Wild Goose Publications
Fourth Floor, Savoy House
140 Sauchiehall Street, 
Glasgow G2 3DH, UK

Photo by Syd Sujuaan on Unsplash