Holy Week Reflections: Holy Saturday

Our Holy Week reflections have been prepared by the Rev Dr Kathy Galloway

Holy Week…
comes to gather us around the one true holy place of the Christian religion, Jesus himself, displayed to the world as the public language of our God, placarded on the history of human suffering that stretches along the roadside.
This is a week for learning not management, bargaining and rule-keeping, but naked trust in that naked gift.
(Rowan Williams)

I read these words of Rowan Williams’ some years ago. Since then, I have often thought about them. What is the public language of our God saying to us; what is Jesus saying to us, especially in this year of global health crisis and its resulting physical distancing for most of us, exhausting work and risk for some, and great loss and tragedy for others? These reflections take as their starting point a verse or two from the gospel reading for each day of Holy Week from the Revised Common Lectionary.

Click below for the audio-visual recording read by Kathy:

The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Ezekiel 37,1-3

We tend to think of the Saturday of Holy Week as a day of waiting, as the time between the crucifixion and the resurrection. God knows, we have had plenty of experience of waiting during this past year. But we are Easter people; it was not like that for the friends and followers of Jesus. For them, his death was the end. Everything lay in ruins around them. They were in a valley of dry bones, a place of hopeless desolation. And so it has been for millions this year, who have experienced only endings, and have not yet felt the terror and joy of new beginnings.

Politics and power
Occupation and collusion
Fear and faithlessness

The unsought glare of celebrity,
Buried conflicts and open challenge
And the expectations of a hungry crowd

The profiteering of the pious,
The exploitation of the poor
And the indifference of the powerful

Private devotion and public witness
Preparation for death and anointing for burial
The strange calm before the storm

Holy ritual and religious identification
Intimacy and service
Bread and water and love

Betrayal and rendition
Kangaroo courts and officially sanctioned torture
Judicial murder

The desertion of friends
The silence of the grave
The closing in of the shadows

This is his story

His story is our story


Oh God,
you have searched the depths we cannot know
and touched what we cannot bear to name:
may we so wait, enclosed in your darkness
that we are ready to encounter the terror of the dawn
with Jesus Christ.
(Janet Morley)

A full list of all Holy Week Reflections is available here: https://wellingtonchurch.co.uk/category/holy-week-2021/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s