My desire to put together the daily offices for this year's Holy Week actually started when I was thinking about Holy Saturday. It seems in today's church culture, overall, Saturday of Holy Week is just that, another Saturday. But as we know, in the form of Holy Week, Holy Saturday is the day that we sit vigil and pray for Christ's appearance.
Just as an aside ... Ever wonder why biblically we know that Christ rose after three days, but we only sit vigil for one? I might have to do some research on that one for next year.
Anyway, Saturday is the day that we sit and wait. We pray with those original disciples, who had abandoned Jesus in his darkest hour out of fear, we pray with the women who were hoping to attend to the Jewish burial practices regarding Jesus' earthly body. We remember our Good Friday, good for us because Christ gave it all to reconcile us with the Father.
I didn't go to a church service on Holy Saturday ... I went to a pancake breakfast, followed by a petting zoo, followed by an Easter Egg Hunt. And you know what? It was awesome, and it was indeed a holy time. You see, this Easter season was different for me and my wife, because now we have a son. He's just a little guy (he'll be three months old on Wednesday), but you better believe he hunted some eggs and pet a llama. It was some of the cutest fun my wife and I ever had. My brother's family with my four-year-old twin nephews and my mom were also there for the fun.
It was a big community affair for our church. We partnered with our preschool to make sure that word got out into the neighborhood (it was all free, but the United Methodist Men took tips for the pancakes) and the church yard was full of families by the time we got there. The weather couldn't have been more beautiful, perfect for some fun and fellowship with the church family and families from the neighborhood. At the end of the Egg Hunt, the kids come to find, that rather than taking home the eggs (which were all empty) each kid got to take home a good bag with candy, party favors, and a little postcard with info about our upcoming VBS and our regular Sunday activities. There were no unhappy customers.
Sure, you can make a case for the commercialization of Easter in the festivities. ... Easter bunnies? Eggs? Candy? What do these have to do with Resurrection? I say, the church family gathered in the name of Christ to bring some fun to the neighborhood, and perhaps some disciples were made along the way in the families that had never set foot on our campus before. If the purpose of the church is to grow the family in the name of Christ and fulfill our part in the Great Commission, then you know what? I bet God smiled down on us and other faith communities doing the same thing.
So, I think we could call the day holy, even though there was no church service involved.
I did take some time on Saturday morning to pray on what I saw and heard on Good Friday, but I won't take back the joy I found in the fun on my Holy Saturday. Liturgically Holy Saturday is a day to be observed, but I chose to celebrate it with my family. No regrets here.