Saturday, April 07, 2007

Keeping Vigil

Holy Saturday has always seemed like such an odd day to me. There's plenty for me to do, between baking, cleaning house, and preparing food for the Easter celebration. There's laundry and ironing so that everyone's church clothes will look nice and neat. For moms, it's a very full day indeed--we are focused on tomorrow.

My kids are all at loose ends, however. They are eager for tomorrow's promise of chocolate, and anticipating their chance to hold candles during the Easter Vigil tonight. But their regular activities just aren't very fun for them today; they too are focused on tomorrow.

Look back on the first Holy Saturday. No one was looking forward to much on that day. We know that Jesus' friends had locked themselves up in a room, probably fearing that they would be next in line to die the kind of horrible death that He had just endured. Most likely, the women who had taken the responsibility of burying Jesus were now busy with Passover responsibilities. Surely they were all tired, scared, and grieving the loss of the One they knew to be the Messiah. They had no "tomorrow" to focus on; all they had was a tomb at which to keep their vigil.

There were no Easter feasts for them to prepare. There were no pies, no candy treats. But imagine their joy on Easter morning when they found the empty tomb; when they learned that Jesus was not dead, but had risen!

Our Vigil is very different from theirs. We know that Jesus rose. We have no doubt, no fear, no probability of persecution or martyrdom. We do not have to grieve our Savior. We only have to follow Him.

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