Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

Et eduxit eos de tenebris et umbra mortis, et vincula eorum dirupit. 
And he brought them out of darkness, and the shadow of death; 
and broke their bonds in sunder. Psalm 106:14 redemisti nos Deo in sanguine tuo ex omni tribu, et lingua, et populo... 
...hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, out of every tribe, 
and tongue, and people... Revelation 5:9

For some reason I don't think I ever noticed that poor sinner on the left being dragged back into hell, and the watcher in the top left corner. The joy and light on the right demands all your attention. Both Adam and Eve in this one, but only Adam in the one below.

You know, I never noticed that there is demon under the door before. I just perceived it as a crack. No wonder those other guys on the left are so scared--and some up in the top left corner, too.

If you haven't read this, you should. I think it's very important. When I started writing this blog, I had no intention of it's being so intentionally spiritual. I knew that would be part of the mix, but not such a very large part. But I am increasingly aware that there is nothing else that really matters, and there is certain, how can I say this, a certain pressure or encouragement to write these things. 

It's not that I think I won't ever write occasional mundane posts, but I think they will be the exception. I had a conversation with a friend a while back about how you have to write what you are given to write. I don't entirely mean given in a spiritual way, although that is a part of everything, but I also refer to the natural talent that you have been given and for me, this seems to be it. Of course, I think I also have a natural ability to make people laugh, and I miss writing things like that, so hopefully there will be more of that, too.

And I can't have Holy Saturday without this.

What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam's son.

The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: 'My Lord be with you all.' And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.

‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.

'See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.

`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.

‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

"The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages."

From an Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday

Now we wait.


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