Podcast: Holy Saturday – Reflection by Canon Robert

You can listen to Canon Robert’s reflection here or read it below.

Let us pray:

Let us remember the presence of God with us now, and lift up our hearts to:
God the Father, to whom we pray;
God the Son, through whom we pray;
God the Holy Spirit, in whom we pray. Amen

Lift up our souls, O Lord, to the pure, serene light of your presence; that there we may breath freely, there repose in your love, there be at rest from ourselves, and from there return, arrayed in your peace, to do and bear what shall please you; for your holy name’s sake. Amen

The Collect of the Day

Easter Vigil
Eternal giver of life and light,
this holy night shines with the radiance of the risen Christ:
renew your Church with the Spirit given to us in baptism,
that we may worship you in sincerity and truth,
and shine as a light in the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A Reading

A reading from the Book of Psalms, Psalm 121.

The Lord the Keeper of Israel.

A Song of Ascents.

121 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will [a]protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
The Lord will [b]guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.

Devotion

Luke 23:55-56

55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes.
And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment (John 20:1)

Early on the first day of he week, while it was still dark 

Not much mentioned about Saturday.
It was a lockdown time for the disciples and the women who followed Jesus
It was a sabbath unlike any other Sabbath they have know.
…. They have kept Sabbath all their lives
This time, it was special

Just 48 hours ago, everything seems normal – Jesus went about his business of preaching, healing and confronting the religious leaders.
…. Why just last week, Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem with such fanfare that has not been seen since about 200 years ago when they welcome the hero of Israel (Judas Macebees) who saved them from their conquering enemies.

But the tragedy began on Thursday night at the Garden of Gethsemane when the traitor Judas Iscariot brought soldiers and arrested Jesus.
Then began the trials
First by the Sanhedrin in the house of Caiaphas the high priest
Then on Friday morning by governor Pontius Pilate
Then by Herod tetrarch of Galilee
And last of all by Pontius Pilate again who bowing to the pressure of the Sanhedrin and crowd, had Jesus crucified.

The crucifixion was out of the ordinary with the words said by Jesus and the whole world covered in thick darkness.
When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple was thorn in two and there was a great earthquake.

Through the kindness of Joseph of Arimathea Jesus was buried in an unused tomb.
Now everyone had to rest because it was sabbath.
…Wonder what would have been going through the disciples’ mind
… Though they rested physically, their minds must have been super active.
… The insecurity / fear / possible loss / uncertainty /
….. No solution in sight
…In this time of lock down, we might feel somewhat similar too
….. While to most natural response to such a situation is to focus on the problem itself
……The women who followed Jesus has a lesson to teach us here
……The women had their sights on Jesus and set about the task of anointing his dead body with the spices they prepared.

(Luke 23:55-56)

55 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes.
And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. (John 20:1)

Early on the first day of he week, while it was still dark 

…They were busy preparing the spices and perfumes!
They were busy planning when to visit the tomd of Jesus as soon as they can go out!

In this time of our enforced lockdown, many of us may tend to focus on the Covid 19 issue.
In fact the news / social media / conversations / information is all about it.

Holy Week and Easter is a good reminder to get the focus of our lives right.
Let us turn our eyes and focus of our live not unto the crisis we face today but to the Lord who is overall in control of the world and all the calamities it faces.

The promise we have from the Bible for us who do so is from Isaiah 40:28-31
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

A Concluding Prayer & Blessing

Let us Pray:

The Morning Collect

Lord and heavenly Father,
you have brought us safely to this new day:
keep us by your mighty power, protect us from sin,
guard us from every kind of danger,
and in all we do this day
direct us in the fulfilling of your purpose,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Into your hands, O Lord, we commit ourselves this day. Let your presence be with us to its close. Strengthen us to remember that in whatsoever we do, we do it to serve you. Give us a diligent and watchful spirit, that we may seek in all things to know your will, and knowing it gladly perform it, to the honour and glory of your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Philippians 4.7

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