I Need Saturday…


The rhythms of Lent, for Christians, are an invitation for us to practice ancient lessons that we don’t yet understand. We may think we know the reasons for a pro-longed season of fasting and personal introspection which lead up to the celebratory remembrance of Palm Sunday, the participatory mourning of Maundy Thursday; the shock, anger, and desperation of Good Friday, then the Promise of Resurrection Sunday.

But…

You might notice…

How I skipped over Saturday…

I usually do that.

I have usually done that.

Throughout my life, my personal experience of Easter went directly from the commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus on Friday to the Resurrection of Jesus on Sunday. My habit of doing so, was basically because that was how I learned and understood the Story of Easter. I’m not saying that there weren’t Voices which articulated the importance and necessity of Saturday, or that for some reason I forgot the days of the week. Rather, we think we know the story so well, that Saturday is relatively meaningless.  A temporary emotional and intellectual wilderness we must traverse after Crucifixion and on the way to Resurrection.

Well…

Yes…

And…

More!

Saturday invites us to emerge from Story, and into Narrative.

Although my understanding of both is probably too simplistic, I have begun to recognize the difference between Story and Narrative…

A story is a contrived device which is designed with a Beginning, a Middle, and an End. There are usually characters in a story which move the tale along. Often, the characters are formed in a way that helps give meaningful voices to the purposes of the story and develop the intentions of the writer or teller for inventing and sharing the story in the first place. A story also includes a Setting, which helps to give structure to the story world, and places it in a known or unknown time and place. There is usually a Protagonist, who becomes intent on accomplishing a worthwhile goal, despite encountering and either overcoming, or failing to overcome obstacles to achieve the goal. There is also normally an Antagonist, who is intent on either stopping the Protagonist from achieving their goal, and/or has goals which oppose those of the Protagonist. Essentially, the Antagonist is the creator of obstacles for the Protagonist. Often, the Protagonist meets other characters along the route of the story which either help or hinder the ultimate achievement of the Protagonist’s goal. All of these structures move the story along in a measured way to a final ending of the story-creator’s choosing.

Story:

Beginning…

Middle…

End…

A Narrative, however, is open-ended. A Narrative leaves room for discussion about interpretation of meanings as to all aspects of it. Is there a Protagonist? Or does what might be considered at first view the Antagonist also carry qualities usually restricted to the character development of a Protagonist? Is the Setting actually placed in a particular time and a particular place, or is it timeless and possibly occurring in any place? And what about the starting place of the Narrative? Is it really the Beginning, or has the Narrator clicked into ongoing events, much like one might a YouTube video?

Narrative:

Open-ended…

Hazy intentions…

Open to interpretation…

 

Stepping into Narrative, and away from Story, I begin Saturday holding tightly to the experience of Death, and the knowledge that Death is a reality. In fact, Death is part of both Story and Narrative.

However, the power of Death as seen in the Easter Story as I remembered it, was either celebrated by defining the crucifixion of Jesus as necessary to atone for humanity’s sinfulness and dereliction of duty to a righteous God or diminished by looking past it immediately to the Resurrection.

Easter Story:

Crucifixion=God’s demand for a sacrifice so the relationship between God and humanity could be made right and since Jesus became that sacrifice, humanity is free from the limitations of death to live eternally with God after we die. So, the aim of the Crucifixion of Jesus was for humanity to get into Heaven and live eternally with God.

 

But…

An Easter Narrative understanding, for me, invites me to view the death of Jesus according to power relationships and about the propensity for humanity to use violence and manipulation in propagation of those relationships. Furthermore, the power relationships are connected to, emanate from, and propelled by Shame as both source and tool for the fight for power and use of power as a social hierarchy maintenance device. An Easter Narrative also invites me to search myself for indications of my personal relationship to power:

How do I use power?

To what purpose is my power utilized?

What is the origin of my power?

 

Saturday helps me realize that, to some extent, I have one hand holding tightly to the perceived powerlessness of Friday and one hand reaching, in hope, for the powerfulness of Sunday. Some way, in the silence of Saturday, I intuitively believe that I must hold to both an understanding of my own powerlessness, in fact humanity’s powerlessness, and my powerfulness which is enabled by the Resurrection. Saturday introduces and invites me to a healing dissonance between the powerlessness of death and the powerfulness of resurrection. But it is an open-ended dissonance…

The patience of a closed tomb…

Connected to…

The audacity of a living…

And loving…

God…

 

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