The Church of Jesus Christ of Saturday Saints

Just a quick meditation on Easter, and why Saturday speaks to me most.

Good Friday is a day of powerful emotions, grief and loss, the injustice of the world against the Lamb of God. There is so much emotional force on Good Friday that I find it hard to contemplate, hard to focus on the events of the day, because it is all swept into the rushing vortex of love, betrayal, courtroom procedure, pain and death.

Easter Sunday is the sunrise, the dawn of renewed life. It is Spring and rebirth and flowers and glory all wrapped into one. I love Easter, but I also find it hard to contemplate; while it is an historical event, Easter is also the future, it is the forward-looking promise of God, the awaited day of reunion and resurrection. And so I have a hard time thinking about it in concrete terms – it is so far distant historically and in the future sense.

But Saturday is a day I know. I know what it means to lose a loved one, to see their story end, and to see the world go on after one life has ended. When the disciples saw Jesus killed, they knew the prophecies. Some had seen Him transfigured, had heard a voice from heaven declaring His divinity, witnessed the miracles and the surpassing love. But then Jesus died, and they knew His story was over. They returned to their lives, their families, their fishing nets. Friday He died, but Saturday they were still alive, with the necessities and basic demands of living. Perhaps some thought they might see Jesus again someday, feel His presence as they had felt the Father’s, but these were surely spiritual expectations. Death conquers all.

This year, Easter takes place among the wreckage of a cataclysmic pandemic. I think about how Medieval Europe must have thought about Easter when a third of the world died. Every day is like Saturday when you are surrounded by the prospect of unseen death. Memento mori. And yet we know that Easter is coming. It must come. God keeps his promises, and so Saturday is not just a day of grief, but a day of expectation, the last day before our hopes come true. So, Saturday is in some ways my favorite part of Easter, because I know the promises, I have read the witnesses and even have my own, but for now I wait and hope. This is the essence of my religion to me, as well: we live in the latter days, the last days, the days of hopeful expectation of a second coming. I feel like a disciple who knows and hopes that Christ will rise, but for today there is work to be done. Saturday is a special day. God bless our Saturday.

Comments

  1. Nice, Steve. Thanks.

  2. Dang. I hadn’t thought about Saturday this way; I’ve been going with “Spirit World Saturday,” but I may have to change it to “Latter-day Saturday.” :D Seriously, though, an excellent meditation. Thank you Steve.

  3. Thanks Steve. This is very helpful to me.

  4. Yes: “But Saturday is a day I know. I know what it means to lose a loved one, to see their story end, and to see the world go on after one life has ended.”

  5. Saturday was also the Sabbath, so the Jews would have been observing it, not going about their everyday activities. Indeed, Saturday is still the Sabbath. If you trace the history of how Sunday came to be considered the Sabbath, as Craig Harline has done in his fine book “Sunday,” you realize that this switch didn’t happen all at once, and it certainly didn’t happen by “revelation.” The early saints worked on Sunday, even though they likely met to worship, because in the Roman Empire, Sunday was a regular work day. The long history of how Sunday came to be what it is today, especially in the LDS tradition, is a fascinating tale, one we all ought to understand better.

  6. Thanks Wally for completely missing the point

  7. Melissa DM says:

    This was lovely. Thank you for articulating why Saturday seemed to feel more profound to me this year.

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