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Rector writes I write this letter on Holy Saturday – that strange cosmic waiting room between Good Friday and Resurrection – and you will read it in the glow of post-resurrection glory. There is always a feeling of impatience between Good Friday and Easter Day, as though Saturday is an irritating interloper. However, if you are willing to be patient, Holy Saturday is an important day. By and large, literature and theological writings have tended to avoid Holy Saturday. That being said, I have seen it described in poetic terms as “a curiously empty day as if the world’s life had gone underground”. Not many theologians have written on the subject with the notable exception of W.H. Vanstone’s book The Stature of Waiting. Even the scriptures are almost silent on what transpired on that first Holy Saturday. Only Matthew in his Gospel records that the chief priests and Pharisees asked permission from Pilate to use a detachment of guards to seal the tomb. Vanstone in his book writes about what he calls the “stature of waiting”. Waiting is an important spiritual discipline but becoming increasingly difficult for us. One could add to the notion of “waiting” the equally vital quality of “patience”. We are, by and large, not very good with “waiting” and “patience”. Our pace of life demands instant gratification. If we have to wait for anything we regard that as “bad” service. How many of us pace the carpet like a demented lion as we wait for, say, the gas engineer to appear and the best the utility company can say is ‘sometime between 8am and noon...’? We set great store by activity and busy-ness. This give us the comforting illusion that we are in control and we would regard it as peculiar if someone were to ask us ‘who are you?’ rather than ‘what do you do?’ We will work very hard to avoid what we see as instances of waiting or being passive. Vanstone argues that in his passivity, in his willingness to be handed over, Jesus discloses the deepest dimension of the glory of God. The times when we simply wait are as important as the times of action and taking charge. Our understanding of Easter emphasises heavily the glory of God in bursting free from the tomb and that, in some way, the experience of suffering on Good Friday is somehow mitigated in, not vanished for, humanity. Such an understanding is only partially correct. Yes, there is the glory but that first Good Friday made us fellow-sufferers with God. We, like God, are handed over to the world to wait upon it and to patiently accept its variety and intensity of meaning. There will be times in our life when all we can do is wait. Do not feel that you are impotent and, in some sense, a “failure”. Take heart, for you have the template of Our Lord who had to wait on that curious empty day before God could show his mighty power. Easter is for both action and patience. The Rector