In An Easter Church: The Long Holy Saturday
Terence Alfred Aditon
The sun crept to its Friday darkness when he died.
It was Shabbat. All work must cease. God rested. So must they.
They left him, fretting to go back and tend him, but obeying the Commandment.
– Yet – Had he not said
the Sabbath is made for man, not man for Sabbath?
How difficult to change a holy habit
even for one holier.
They marked the time so they could tend the grave
While, unknown, this bursting Star of life
was finishing the miracle of its own Sabbath sleep –
Or was it sleep?
That Saturday is a secret kept by heaven —
For them a Sabbath-ocean-depth of sorrow and of grieving.
Oh, the stillness.
Where are you, Lord?
What transformation has begun
Within that rocky cave?
Your miracles have been so visible, so public –
Yet now, this greatest miracle is hidden —
A mystery the world is left to ponder and debate
And, in grace, believe.
Did you open your eyes and rise up, once they left you?
Were Angels there?
Where did you go, so hidden from our sight?
What did you do?
Were you waiting for Mary? Where had you been,
walking in the garden when she approached you?
God walked in Eden – Were your steps marking
the shape of the soul’s new world,
before the women came there?
That special day,
three days hidden, then Resurrection, seen so many ways,
in fear, in love, in disbelief,
in binding hearts so tightly to you
that life at last was real, by your wild death.
Lord, they said your body died upon that Cross.
But did you die in body so that finally, we came to know
that death is but transition?
You died. You lived. For from the start, in every form,
you are the I Am,
who came to live among us, oh, to have been there!
But you are here, now, Presence.
In your Ascension, confusion must have roiled
the hearts of all who saw –
Oh, don’t go! Where are you in those clouds? Come back,
our dearest friend and Lord
And now we shake ourselves, remembering
all your words,
That you are with us to the consummation of the world,
That you enter our gatherings even of
the two or three who come together in your Name.
How we must keep remembering!
Especially now (although the ‘now’ is felt in every age) —
this sullied world, so filled by our sins both great and small —
Especially now, we need your steady Presence —
We need to find you in ourselves and in
You are already in our hearts,
how wonderful. And yet
It does not still the longing – And yet
it gives us hope of heaven, for
Memory awaits the re-creation of the here and now
Poet and writer Terence Alfred Aditon is a frequent contributor to the Magazine.