Saturday, March 31, 2018
All Earth is Waiting this Holy Saturday
All earth is waiting to see the Promised One,
and open furrows await the seed of God.
All the world, bound and struggling, seeks true liberty;
it cries out for justice and searches for the truth.
This is the first verse of an Advent Hymn I like from Voices United, our United Church hymnal. It didn't seem to turn the crank of congregations I served, but both the tune and the lyrics appealed to me (check out No. 5 in VU for the other three verses.)
On this Holy Saturday, or Great Sabbath, I appear to have Seasonal Hymn Disorder. This is the "nothing to see here" day in Holy Week, and lo and behold, these words popped into my head.
They seem to make sense though. Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday and was buried in a benefactor's tomb. He was composted in Middle Eastern fashion only to be mistaken by Mary Magdalene as the Cosmic Gardener on Easter morning. She caught on quickly, and was the first to proclaim Teacher Jesus as the Risen Christ. This, though, is the waiting day. There is a pensive quality to the day, especially in congregations where there is no Easter Vigil on Saturday evening. Jesus is dead, buried, mourned, and there is nothing for us to do but wait.
Where we are, the earth is on standby as well. This has been a chilly March and not much is happening. The snow is gone in open areas and the fields and woods have faces that only a mother could love. There aren't furrows yet, and planting won't happen for weeks to come.
I imagine that I've recalled this out-of-season hymn because more and more I want to acknowledge Christ's saving grace for all Creation, not just humanity. Our sins against the planet are manifold, and hardly a day goes by when we aren't reminded of the dire state of soil and air and water.
We wait and wonder whether we will participate in the Easter hope for all living things. Today we'll go for a ramble somewhere and trust that the "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust" Jesus will once again stir up our frozen soil and lead us into Resurrection life.