Very often our Easter commemorations jump straight from the pain of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. We are not very good at the waiting of Holy Saturday. However, our current lockdown feels a bit like that waiting time. There is grief not only for the bereaved, but for not being able to worship togther in our church premises. There’s also fear perhaps over what may come. Such feelings are reflective of what the disciples may have been feeling on that first Holy Saturday. It is at such times that we need to resort to prayer and trusting in God.
An appeal has been made to church leaders in Hereford to invite congregations to use this Holy Saturday for a more focussed time of prayer for our diocese and country. In particular, we’re asked to pray for:
- NHS staff who are caring for us, for God’s sustaining grace and their protection.
- For protection for the vulnerable who are self-isolating.
- For all of us to continue to exercise restraint in going out, especially as the weather improves and we all go a bit stir-crazy.
- For those who are suffering economically, that their crisis would be short-lived and for a safety net to be put in place to ensure no-one goes hungry.
- For wisdom for those who are seeking to manage the crisis and find treatments and a vaccine. Lets be bold to pray for the virus to peter out as summer comes.
- For the spiritual curiosity enabled by enforced inactivity, especially for folk who have been engaging with us through social media. That the curiosity would lead people to faith.
- That we would learn and grow ourselves through all this. That we would be a holier people at the end of it, more deeply prayerful and more in love with the Lord.
I sense we are in a liminal place at the moment, like that first Holy Saturday, unsure as to what will happen next. Will there be resurrection? We all have our own Good Fridays. As Christians we have to trust in new life coming again; it just won’t necessarily be on the third day as it was for Jesus.
On Easter Sunday, join me in placing a candle in your window at 7.00pm to celebrate the hope of Easter and participate in the national prayer going on at that time.