Holy Saturday 2021: entering Jesus’ stillness in the tomb

Join with us for worship this Holy Saturday at Eastbrook Church as we Jesus’ body still in death within the tomb with a simple service and Scripture reflection. The service is available today all day at any time online here or below. You can also download a companion “Holy Saturday at Home Experience Guide” put together by the Eastbrook Church staff.

After His crucifixion, Jesus’ body was laid in the tomb. The basis for our engagement with Jesus’ passion this year is through Matthew’s Gospel, taking us to Matthew 27:57-66 for Holy Saturday.

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

A Prayer for Stillness (with a word from Thomas à Kempis)

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know,
to love what I ought to love,
to praise what delights Thee most,
to value what is precious in Thy sight,
to hate what is offensive to Thee.
Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes,
nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men;
but to discern with a true judgment between things visible and spiritual,
and above all always to inquire what is the good pleasure of Thy will.

— Thomas à Kempis

Still me, my God.
Quiet me.

All the raging thoughts and twisted times.
Bring me back to You.
Reorient my soul to You.

All the confusion and misdirection—
May my hunger be for You.

My divided self and these divided days—
May my rest be in You.

Quiet me.
Still me, my God.

A Prayer to Know God in Stillness

“Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” (Deuteronomy 34:10)

“Inner silence is absence of any sort of inward stirring or emotion or thought, but it is complete alertness, openness to God.” – Anthony Bloom

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
In my agitated being
bring wholeness and comprehensive peace.

Still the windswept ripplings on the surface,
as well as the deeper, unseen churnings below,
so that—healed, whole, quiet, and still—
my soul might reflect Your glory and unity of being.

Grace me to walk from this hour in that way,
that all I meet might encounter You in me
and that, even in the harried hours before me,
I might always return to the stillness found in You.

Saturday Prayer 21

My mind races ahead
and lurches forward
Like a fly trapped inside a house
it leaps and rushes from one thought
to another

I want to be still
and know
that You are God
But at the same time
I check my watch
and think about what’s next

Bring me to a place of peace
before You and in You, Lord
Help me to cast my cares upon You
and experience Your peace
that guards my heart and mind

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15)

[This is part of a series of prayer posts in 2012 that began here.]