Holy Saturday – 11 Apr 2020

Holy Saturday – 11 Apr 2020

A HOLY WEEK JOURNEY IN ADVERSITY TOWARDS RESILIENCE

HOLY WEEK READING-REFLECTION PLAN

11th April 2020, Holy Saturday: John 19:38-42

Today in Lent is known as Holy Saturday. The darkness in the tomb was a mysterious darkness and through the night of Saturday would give way to a new dawn. But Holy Saturday is the 40th day of Lent and closes the period of Lent. So, what has happened to you after 40 days of self-examination, repentance and reading/listening to the Word of God? For the disciples, Holy Saturday was actually the Sabbath day. Instead of a Sabbath day of rest though, it very likely became a time of gloom and darkness.

How did Peter spend his Sabbath? We are not told. But could he have spent the day after Christ’s death reliving the events? And replaying again and again, “I don’t know the man!” On this day of ceasing and resting, what do you think was the state of his soul?

How did Judas spend his Sabbath? We are also not told. But it’s probable he never entered it. Matthew’s record suggested that he might have hung himself on the day Jesus was crucified.

How did John spend his Sabbath? We are not told either. But we know he took Mary into his own household. The beloved disciple with the mother, but not with the Beloved.

What about you? How will you spend Holy Saturday? Do you go about the day no differently from the other Saturdays in the month? Or do you just fast forward to Sunday? After all, we can argue from Scripture that the Gospel writers themselves did not dwell much on it.

But dare I stay longer on this hidden Saturday? Could Holy Saturday symbolize a stage of my spiritual formation where I experience for myself a death, a dying. The defining framework is Christ’s death. Might this framework not set the template for me to understand that the death of a vision is often part of God’s reformation and reconstruction of the soul? Can you see then that we need to pass through our own Holy Saturday? This is the day when our dark fears come true. It includes the unexpected collapse of a dream, the death of a vision, a life work or pet project rendered irrelevant or inconsequential, when our ecclesiology comes crashing down, or when we see for the first time how extensive damage can be inflicted by the blindness of self-referencing or arrogance. And what stares back in front of us is dark Saturday.

The spirit of Lenten Holy Saturday – a no where day or an in-between times day can minister the deep grace of brokenness into our lives. But both the season and the person serve only to point us to the Saviour and the brand of faith that He died to give us – a full-bodied faith that embraces death because that is life; a faith that does not circumvent but enters into suffering; that faces up to one’s sorrow and joy, strengths and weaknesses, and thus becomes faith that is authentic and alive. This is the faith that you and I are called to live out. It includes the darkness of a Holy Saturday.

Adapted John Chong Ser Choon

May you be blessed by the words of this song:

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.

I have tried you in fires of affliction;
I have taught your soul to grieve.
In the barren soil of your loneliness,
there I will plant my seed.

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.


I have taught you the price of compassion;
you have stood before the grave.
Though My love can seem
like a raging storm,
this is the love that saves.

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.


Were you there
when I raised up the mountains?
Can you guide the morning star?
Does the hawk take flight
when you give command?
Why do you doubt My pow’r?

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.


In your deepest hour of darkness
I will give you wealth untold.
When the silence stills your spirit,
will My riches fill your soul.

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.

Dan Schutte

Holy Saturday – 11 Apr 2020

A HOLY WEEK JOURNEY IN ADVERSITY TOWARDS RESILIENCE

HOLY WEEK READING-REFLECTION PLAN

11th April 2020, Holy Saturday: John 19:38-42

Today in Lent is known as Holy Saturday. The darkness in the tomb was a mysterious darkness and through the night of Saturday would give way to a new dawn. But Holy Saturday is the 40th day of Lent and closes the period of Lent. So, what has happened to you after 40 days of self-examination, repentance and reading/listening to the Word of God? For the disciples, Holy Saturday was actually the Sabbath day. Instead of a Sabbath day of rest though, it very likely became a time of gloom and darkness.

How did Peter spend his Sabbath? We are not told. But could he have spent the day after Christ’s death reliving the events? And replaying again and again, “I don’t know the man!” On this day of ceasing and resting, what do you think was the state of his soul?

How did Judas spend his Sabbath? We are also not told. But it’s probable he never entered it. Matthew’s record suggested that he might have hung himself on the day Jesus was crucified.

How did John spend his Sabbath? We are not told either. But we know he took Mary into his own household. The beloved disciple with the mother, but not with the Beloved.

What about you? How will you spend Holy Saturday? Do you go about the day no differently from the other Saturdays in the month? Or do you just fast forward to Sunday? After all, we can argue from Scripture that the Gospel writers themselves did not dwell much on it.

But dare I stay longer on this hidden Saturday? Could Holy Saturday symbolize a stage of my spiritual formation where I experience for myself a death, a dying. The defining framework is Christ’s death. Might this framework not set the template for me to understand that the death of a vision is often part of God’s reformation and reconstruction of the soul? Can you see then that we need to pass through our own Holy Saturday? This is the day when our dark fears come true. It includes the unexpected collapse of a dream, the death of a vision, a life work or pet project rendered irrelevant or inconsequential, when our ecclesiology comes crashing down, or when we see for the first time how extensive damage can be inflicted by the blindness of self-referencing or arrogance. And what stares back in front of us is dark Saturday.

The spirit of Lenten Holy Saturday – a no where day or an in-between times day can minister the deep grace of brokenness into our lives. But both the season and the person serve only to point us to the Saviour and the brand of faith that He died to give us – a full-bodied faith that embraces death because that is life; a faith that does not circumvent but enters into suffering; that faces up to one’s sorrow and joy, strengths and weaknesses, and thus becomes faith that is authentic and alive. This is the faith that you and I are called to live out. It includes the darkness of a Holy Saturday.

Adapted John Chong Ser Choon

May you be blessed by the words of this song:

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.

I have tried you in fires of affliction;
I have taught your soul to grieve.
In the barren soil of your loneliness,
there I will plant my seed.

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.


I have taught you the price of compassion;
you have stood before the grave.
Though My love can seem
like a raging storm,
this is the love that saves.

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.


Were you there
when I raised up the mountains?
Can you guide the morning star?
Does the hawk take flight
when you give command?
Why do you doubt My pow’r?

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.


In your deepest hour of darkness
I will give you wealth untold.
When the silence stills your spirit,
will My riches fill your soul.

Refrain

Holy darkness, blessed night,
Heaven’s answer hidden from our sight.
As we await You, O God of silence,
we embrace Your holy night.

Dan Schutte