THE ‘LET’ OF THE EASTER VIGIL
Saturday, April 3rd
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:11-14 (NRSV)
On that Sabbath Saturday, Jesus was buried in the tomb, his friends and followers were grieving, and we can imagine their bewildered sorrow as they wondered just what had happened – to him, to their dreams, to their hopes of a Savior. How could this man who had completely changed their world suddenly be gone forever? Did his words no longer hold true? What would they do now?
We have the privilege of revisiting this story while knowing what happens next. We know that in just a few more hours, these friends of Jesus will find their deep sorrow turned into surprising joy! We know that in the deep fear and uncertainty of this time of darkness, with Jesus is enclosed in the tomb, wonderful transformation is hidden but definitely happening.
I found that this passage from Romans speaks well to this time of liminal waiting space. Paul is writing to the Romans about the second coming of Christ, but his words are appropriate for this Holy Saturday, and for ALL of our liminal, uncertain, fearful waiting times. We can trust that even in our darkest days, “the night is far gone, the day is near,” because resurrection is always guaranteed, for every loss and death that we endure. We can be comforted that “salvation is nearer to us now” than ever before, because new life in Christ is offered to us for each new moment of our lives.
And so we can continue on, trusting that the dawn is only moments away. In the meantime, let us choose to lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us choose to live honorably as in the day. We live in the light of what we now know to be true: resurrection WILL come. Very soon.
Our reading for Easter Sunday will be John 20:1-18.
Bible verses taken from https://classic.biblegateway.com/