Easter/Lent Guest Bloggers Uncategorized

Holy Saturday (Shauna Niequist)

This piece by Shauna goes along with my Easter message this past Sunday. Thanks for sharing this, Keri.  -JB

Holy Saturday.

We live next to the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. We walk by it dozens of times a day, and those doors are always, always open—no matter how early I’m leaving for a flight, no matter how late at night we come home.

To be honest, I didn’t think about it until, at the Good Friday service in the chapel last night, our friend David told us that the doors are always open, all year round—except for Holy Saturday.

At the end of the service, we left the chapel in darkness & silence, & stood outside the chapel & watched as those old, heavy, beautiful doors were swung shut with a clank. And they will remain shut until the priests open them tomorrow, Easter Sunday.

The symbolism of that moves me so deeply: everything stops on Holy Saturday. It will all spring to life once again tomorrow—thank God, but for now, the doors are closed.

So we weep, grieve, mourn. Let your shoulders slump down, let your knees buckle, let the enormity of the darkness be felt. 

Don’t force hope, don’t pressure yourself to generate resurrection feelings. Not yet.

For today, only settle into the silence, the darkness, the doors swung shut.

Holy Saturday is the way through to Easter Sunday—but it is made to be walked slowly, deeply, not sprinted past. It has gifts to give us along that challenging, slow path—gifts most of us never experience because we’re trying to jump over it, hustle past it, instead of walking right through the center and soul of it.

Holy Saturday is the silent, desolate—& very necessary—middle point of this story that changes absolutely everything.


Jeremy Berg is the founding pastor of MainStreet Covenant Church in Mound, Minnesota, and Professor of Theology at Solid Rock Discipleship School. Jeremy is completing his doctorate in New Testament Context under Dr. Scot McKnight at Northern Seminary in Chicago. He holds a M.A. in Theological Studies from Bethel Seminary (2005) and B.A. from Bethel University (2002). He and his wife, Kjerstin, keep busy chasing around three kids, Peter, Isaak and Abigail.

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