It’s Easter Saturday. The in-between day.
For many of us Easter is about extra holidays, easter eggs, hot cross buns, camping, and maybe the obligatory trip to Church to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We don’t really talk much about Easter Saturday. I know he died for me yesterday and that he’s coming back tomorrow but what about today.
Holy Saturday, is where we are suspended between loss and hope, death and resurrection, mourning and new life.
Jesus died so that we may be like him, that we may be with him in eternity. He rose from the grave to show us his resurrection power of life over death and give us hope that one day he will return for us. In between these two events is the space where we live. The complex and mundane events that life brings our way.
In-between means between two extremes, two contrasting conditions.
Easter Saturday is about our life here on earth. The space of Easter Saturday is the in bumpy, messy in-between space. The ancients would call it liminal space.
What is Liminal Space?
The word liminal comes from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing (source).
Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it form us.
Author and theologian Richard Rohr describes this space as: “Where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence. That’s a good space where genuine newness can begin. Get there often and stay as long as you can by whatever means possible…This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy. The threshold is God’s waiting room. Here we are taught openness and patience as we come to expect an appointment with the divine Doctor”.
When I think of Easter I think of the disciples, the ones that have been left behind. Imagine their distress. They didn’t know the end of the story. They had no idea that Christ would return from the dead. All they knew was the man that they had lived with, done life with, hoped in and trusted in was gone. They were traumatised. They had watched him brutalised, tortured and killed. Then he died.
He was their great hope.
He was the one who would save them from the oppression of the religious leaders and the enslavement of the Roman Empire.
How could this possibly happen now?
He was dead?
Imagine the disillusion, the disappointment, the pain. Friday night, Saturday and Saturday night would have felt like forever.
In the ‘in-between’ space. The now and not yet. We live with the paradox of life and death. The promise of a new way to live and a new life within the parameters of a broken, frightened and hurting world.
Where is God?
He is here, He is right here in the muck, in the mess, in the pain, in the anger. Quietly sitting beside us, comforting us, holding us.