Pondering the first Easter Saturday, I wonder what those first disciples must have felt. All their hope was gone, brutally murdered and now hidden in a tomb to rot. For following Jesus they were now rejected by the synagogue leaders and also being watched carefully by the Roman authorities. We know the end of the story we so often forget what that first Saturday after Jesus was crucified was truly like.
I wrote this poem not only pondering Easter Saturday but also as I was dealing with the grief over the untimely deaths of friends and family I had been praying for God to heal; emotionally, physically and mentally. Pondering Easter Saturday is a good time to think about those prayers we pray that don’t appear to get answered.
The First Easter Saturday
How? What had happened?
What is wrong with the world?
Why is it continuing?
God why can you not make it stop?
Just give us time to grieve.
This is too much.
There was so much promise.
So much expectation.
And now he’s dead.
All hope of promise is gone.
All that we gave our lives for.
All that we gave up.
It is finished.
And who cares?
Us few that’s who.
The Passover continues
The people celebrate
They are free at last.
How? Why? Who could have let this happen?
God how could you have let this happen?
You should have stopped it.
He claimed to be your son.
We believed him.
We are walking dead now.
They will come to get us soon.
It is finished!
So much of our own stories we are in that middle place between God promising and it coming to pass. Even before the pandemic hit most of us had experienced friends and family dying too soon and too painfully. Or of things we hoped would happen not working out as we had desired, or not working out at all. .
How do we feel when we are grieving, when we are scared and yet other people are celebrating? The Passover was about being free from oppression but the followers of Jesus were under the weight of grief. And grief is a heavy cloak to wear.
I believe God allowed Easter Saturday to remind us all that we need space to think, to grieve, to wonder. I believe, too, that the church calendar has stolen something from us. When you read what Jesus says it is that he’ll be in the earth three days and nights, not the two nights and one day that our church calendars allow.
Easter is a time for healing, as has been the focus for Godspace. My prayer for us all is that we take some Easter Saturday time and grieve for what we have lost and cope with our uncertainty about the future. I believe taking time out to acknowledge our grief before we move forward is one of the keys to healing and not just brushing things under the carpet. Let’s use Easter Saturday for, what I believe, God intended it.
I would like to share a poem by my friend, Julia McGuiness, who is poet in residence at Chester Cathedral. This poem can also be found on The Leaves of The Trees and on the sidebar you can click to find other poems by Julia. I have chosen this one because I feel it fits in with my Review of 2020 and also my posts about Joy and Hope.
The Leaves of the Trees
by Poet in Residence, Julia McGuinness
Trees weep, a fall of leaves swirled by wind to lost heaps of silence, of dry beauty.
Scattering unswept, vulnerable to being trodden, trampled under indifferent heels.
Bend, humble as a branch. Lift to the light with tender hand what weather and time have torn.
The scars leaves bear are cuts that frame the sky with HOPE. This holding is for the moment.
Shimmering silver turns to bronze; leaves shift colour and currency. Let it go. You too have changed.
The air you breathe is imprinted with invisible shapes of hope; love is a gift with holes.
Yesterday was the last day of our holiday. It was our first holiday this year due to lockdown. The first 6 days of it were spent in Northumberland in a self-catering cabin, but we had to come home early because we could not stay with friends in the area for the weekend due to the NE of England being in local lockdown. So on Sunday we walked into Snowdonia, away from the tourist crowds and had a picnic Sunday lunch by this beautiful lake where I wrote this poem.
Black mirror broken only by occasional jumping fish trying to catch the last midges of summer.
Blobs of white undefined sheep gather together then drift apart enjoying the last grass of summer.
Man watches, thinking, pondering, closes eyes & dreams drifting on the last warm rays of summer
I wish I could find an article that said how the local people reacted when the stream was dammed up in the first place 90 years ago. I wonder if it was with similar outrage? And it got me thinking as to how vehement we can be about change and how it upsets us and yet how quickly we get used to the “new normal”, coin a recent phrase. I wonder if in ten or twenty years we will have got used to local lockdowns and will bemoan them if/when they cease?
It’s funny but I never think of myself as a “published writer” and yet once again I’ve had a poem published. This time it was inspired from a Mindfulness course I went on. A part of the course which really struck me was about not judging things as right and wrong but accepting life as it is, which I’m sure I’ve posted on here before but can’t find.
You can find my poem on Michael Townsend William’s site under Listening Mindfully. I won’t republish it here because I’d love if you’d go to Michael’s site, Stillworks, and see some of the other interesting things that are there. I think too often we don’t network enough to show what other people are doing out there. So here you can find me a “published writer”. And in fact it’s not the first time I’ve been published. I am in Bradford on Avon book about climate change where my poem is found. I do have other places that I’ve been published but I do forget. I wonder why that is? Is it because I just plain don’t remember? Would I remember if I got paid for it? Or is it something deeper? To be honest I really don’t know. And that is the thing, we could all spend ages psychoanalysing ourselves but sometimes we just have to accept where we are. There is nothing wrong with looking at who we are, trying to figure out what makes us tick, but if we use it to put ourselves into boxes of one sort or another we’ve missed the point. To look at myself and how I work, think, behave, and to do that with others, is only helpful if I can be Mindful about it – and accept it as it is without judgement, without having to put what I find into a like/dislike box.