Saturday, April 4, 2015
Holy Saturday Waiting. . .
So they went to church. . . and they waited. We have a lot of trouble waiting for things. We are generally not very patient as people We have fast food, drive up windows, and self-check out lines because we don't want to wait. It should not surprise us that waiting is the hardest part of faith. Yet waiting is an act of faith. We do not wait as the aimless whose restless hearts live in anxiety and fear. We wait upon the Lord. We know this Lord as the one who loved us that He gave His only-begotten Son who was born in our flesh and blood to suffer and die in our place upon the cross. We are not waiting for the unknown but for that which we know in the promise of Christ.
On this day the Church has historically welcomed new people to the faith through baptism and confirmation. The dark night of Holy Saturday gives way to the bright morning of Christ's resurrection and this has been a symbolic moment rich in imagery and meaning for the newly baptized and confirmed. You might say that the whole life of the baptized is a life of waiting, of joyful expectation not complete until we close our eyes this side of glory and awaken them to see Jesus face to face. I think of my Dad who we buried only a week or so ago and of the fulfillment of the baptismal promise given to him so long ago. I think of my own wait for the blest reunion with those who have gone before, who died in Christ. I think of the restless character of the soul searching for place and belonging that is not stilled or met until we rest in Christ. Yes, whether you like it or not, Christian life involves much waiting.
Easter is not a surprise ending for us but the ending we know and for which we hope. This day is sort of like the children waiting for Christmas morning to see what gifts were brought. We wait because we know there are gifts given, blessing awaiting us, and a future prepared. Such a wait is not drudgery even when it may seem long. It is how we anticipate in this life the promise of the life to come. So wait with me. . . what is to come is beyond imagination and far beyond our expectations -- what God has prepared for those who love Him. And it all starts with an empty tomb. Shhhhhhh.... Easter is coming!
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One of the great liturgical casualties in the LCMS, indeed in Lutheranism in general, has been the near abandonment of the Vigil on Holy Saturday.--Chris
Thankful Grace Lutheran has not abandoned it! May the tribe grow.
No need to lament that which is abandoned. Pastors, start up the Vigil and offer it on Holy Saturday, as well as the Eucharist each Lord's Day. These things take leadership from our pastors and they can be restored to their rightful place in our lives. Blessed Resurrection.
JUST A NOTE - to thank all clergy / priests / ministers for their overtime this week.
BLESS YOU !
Actually, the Vigil is held by many Lutheran congregations, more now than ever and more being added to the blessed number every year! If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that 30-40% observe the Vigil.
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