Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Saturday - Lent 2016

Living Bread ~ Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35

During this season of reflections and renewal, join me in exploring the Bread of Life. When we encounter Jesus Christ, this Living Bread feeds, satisfies, and transforms us. Come on this journey and remember this Bread “is broken for you”. ~ Donna Oswalt

Joseph [of Arimathea] bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance.    Mark 15:46 NLT

History of this day brings to mind a variety of thoughts, reactions, and rituals. Scholars say that by the Second Century, Christians begin a ‘total fast’ for 40 hours before Easter; Holy Saturday becomes a complete day of fasting. As celebrating the Lenten season becomes more of a practice among Christians in the fourth and fifth centuries, fasting continues to play a role. For many centuries since, some Christians have regarded both Holy Saturday and Resurrection Sunday as days of ‘no fasting’. Many Eastern Orthodox churches ‘lighten their fasts” somewhat during these two days. Historically, this is a day without celebrations, a day of silence, prayerful meditation, and rest. Holy Saturday is the official last day of Lent.

What is Holy Saturday? While all four gospels record the events leading up to the beginning of Holy Saturday (sundown on Friday), little is known about the next twenty-four hours. For the disciples and Jewish followers of Jesus, this is the Sabbath (and Passover), and the religious habits for this day would not change. However, fearing for their lives, the disciples are in hiding. This must have been a long day of reflection and wondering. Only twenty-four hours before, they were eating together, singing hymns, praying with Jesus. Then everything changes! Jesus is arrested and condemned, crucified and buried. Stunned and confused, with Jesus lying in a tomb, they wait in solitude with doubt and fear.

God of Mercy ~ Breathe a new word into my weary soul. Sometimes the journey makes no sense, offers no solution. I whisper I am afraid; I don’t understand! In these dark times, I feel my soul worn and frayed by the uncertainty without an end in sight. Especially now, Lord, always give us this bread seems to be the only prayer that nourishes my hunger for peace. – dho

Focus Point: …everything changes!

All rights reserved; copyright 2016 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author; Breathing Room For My Soul (blog)~ Follow on Twitter @soulchat

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