Weeping on Saturday

3 crosses and tomb

John 20:1a

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark

We have all heard and read the verse that reminds us that trouble and sorrow don’t last always.  

Psalms 30:5

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

But we are not sure how long the night of trouble, grief, sadness, anxiety, and the expectation of a new beginning will last.  We are not sure if this is overnight or a season of nights before the new morning breaks. 

This is the story of Saturday before resurrection Sunday.  We, fortunately, can look back on it and know it was only a short period of time before the new day dawned with resurrection.  But for the disciples they still were not sure when the nightmare of Friday would end. Their Saturday was a long haunting day, that was confusing, and I am sure emotionally numbing. 

Brueggemann reminds us of a few Saturdays in our own time.  “The old Saturday was about abandonment and disappointment at the far edge of the crucifixion.  And then came all the Saturdays of fear and abusiveness, of the Crusades and the ovens and genocides in too many places.  And then came our particular Saturdays of Katrina and 9/11 and economic collapse, Saturdays of overwhelming failure with no adequate resources.”           

On these Saturdays there is a stillness because the one that was supposed to bring a new kingdom was gone. This Saturday in the disciple’s minds was not supposed to occur like this.  He told them he would rise from the dead, but on Saturday it did not look like resurrection or a new morning was on the horizon.   

In these times of grief and loss Dr. Peter Scazerro invites us to consider 3 phases for processing our grief and loss.  We are called to “pay attention to the pain.”  This calls for a commitment to reality.  The reality that grief and loss is real in this world on our Saturdays, we are summoned to feel the loss and allow it to lead us to Jesus and trust him to meet us there.

On these Saturdays Scazzero calls it “waiting in the confusing In-Between.”   It is in this time of waiting that God strips us of our unhealthy ways of looking at the world and ourselves and frees us to be our true selves. It is here that we are emptied of the old and are prepared to receive the new.  This is the third phase, “allow the old to birth the new.”  In this new season we are able to experience depths of life beneath the surface. Like our risen Savior we are able to show our wounds to the world and walk with others through their Saturdays.

Fortunately for us and the disciples, there was a Sunday resurrection, and a new beginning did dawn as a result of the life that Christ now offers to us.  But let us remember as we wait in our Saturdays, as difficult as they be at times, even in those places God is birthing something new.  The weeping may take longer than we expected, but we can rest in the knowledge that the life-giving grace of Sunday will come in the morning.

“You are the God who remains with us during our Saturday of waiting and wondering, marked by the memory of Friday and the hope of Sunday.  Forbid us too-easy exits out of the darkness.  May we wait until we are at last interrupted by your life-giving grace. Amen.” Brueggemann


Scazzero, Peter. Emotionally Healthy Discipleship: Moving from Shallow Christianity to Deep Transformation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2021.

Brueggemann, Walter. A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent. Kentucky: Westminster John Know Press, 2017.




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