From Good Friday to Saturday Vigil

I said in my earlier post that I don’t like (but need) Good Friday. And some of you responded with some great comments about why the cross just can’t be circumvented.  Thank you!  Your faith is inspirational.

But having said that I don’t like (but need) Good Friday, I have to say that I greatly appreciated the Good Friday worship at Redwood Covenant.  The words of the story, artfully told, balanced by music and buttressed by song, and the cross and it’s message, and the pounding of nails followed by the dipping of bread with my church was a powerful and loving experience for me.

But now it’s a new day.  The solemnness of Good Friday is over.  A new day, the seond day, dawns as a vigil for some.

After Jesus was crucified and breathed his last, Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus and funded a costly burial that included binding the body of Jesus in linen cloths with spices and sealing the body in a new tomb. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sat opposite the tomb watching as Jesus was prepared and then sealed in his tomb.  And the Church over the centuries has held vigil with those women at the tomb of Jesus as an act of faithfulness, even when it doesn’t make sense.

After all, it didn’t make sense that Jesus had died.  A dead messiah is a failed messiah, as NT Write says.  A dead messiah proves that his claims were false, because, well, he’s dead which proves his promises were empty because they didn’t happen, and well, now he’s dead.

On the second day, people did not reject or turn away from Jesus because they did not believe.  They turned away because it was obvious that Jesus was not the Messiah who would establish any new realm, because, well, he’s dead and now it will be business as usual.

But Mary and Mary and Joe, and probably others not revealed in Scripture, stayed by Jesus–even when it didn’t make sense.

And sometimes the best you can do is to can do is stay faithful to God when God doesn’t make sense, or after your dreams have died, or your life is in shambles, or after you’re doing great, and life is good.  Either way, staying by Jesus even when it doesn’t make sense actually makes sense when you consider that God is faithful to us, even when we are unfaithful to him.

May this day be for you a vigil of faithfulness to the one who is faithful to you, even should you fail to keep watch and pray.  And then, may your Easter encounter with the Risen Christ–who, it turns out, is establishing his realm, and it’s not business as usual–may this Lord of Life surprise you with a healthy dose of new life.


About chris breuninger

I love life, my family, and Jesus. I enjoy live music, rigorous exercise, thoughtful movies, and strong coffee. I study scripture, wine, and people. I get frustrated with narrow minds, Christian stereotypes, and gardening. My vocation is pastor, but I’m hesitant to admit that, and I’m happy when people are surprised by that.
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5 Responses to From Good Friday to Saturday Vigil

  1. Doug Richardson says:

    Love this quote from Henri Nouwen:
    “Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting. It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts that makes already present what we are waiting for…We are always waiting, but it is a waiting in the conviction that we have already seen God’s footsteps…Waiting for God is an active, alert – yes, joyful – waiting. As we wait we remember him for whom we are waiting, and as we remember him we create a community ready to welcome him when he comes.” – Henri Nouwen

  2. Cathi says:

    Chris – your words on being faithful even when things don’t make sense to us, holding vigil in prayer and faithfulness on this day between Good Friday and Easter, bring that day so long ago into my world today.
    I awoke this morning and started my day aware that this is a day of vigil – waiting with my heart open to what God will do.
    As I move through my day, doing my normal things as a mom, daughter, animal lover, my vigil and prayer will be with me throughout. Moments in prayer, gratitude to Jesus, and we have the great joy of knowing tomorrow morning is coming, today.
    Blessings to you and Amy for coming

  3. laura segura says:

    Thank you for your words which confirm what I am feeling this morning. I found them to be such a blessing.

  4. Jane Bailey says:

    Our family walked the Journey to the Cross earlier in the day. Sombering. Precious. Beautiful. Agonizing to reflect on the extreme emotional pain and abandonment felt by Jesus by His friends and His own Father. Because of His love and obedience and complete trust in the glory to come.

    The Good Friday service was poetry. Beautiful. Powerful. Piercing the heart. Thank You Lord for nailing our sin and guilt to the cross with You. Thank You Father for accepting Your Son’s blood as payment.

    Thank you RCC for your faithfulness to help us “remember” all that Jesus has done on our behalf. May our lives reflect that remembrance more faithfully and loudly!!

  5. Carolyn Harrison says:

    The sound of hammers pounding nails (I loved the picture of my “list” between the palm of Jesus and the nail, sealed for all eternity) and taking bread and juice were powerful reminders of what love God has for us. But for me, Journeying to the Cross yesterday was a wonderful walk with my Savior, and especially the letter writing was especially meaningful. Thank you RCC for providing opportunities to grow closer to God.

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