What a time to hold both mourning and fear:
surreal and sudden, from palms to passion,
mission at miserable end, the house
silent as pouring of tea, with tears.
They awaited a knock, the Pharisees' fashion:
of heartlessly seeking hopes to douse
in their doctrine, ignoring Abram's wonder:
that smoking vision of God down the row
of animal pieces, to show who would pay;
they forgot to consider that God would sunder
Himself for the covenant his people long broke,
that the Christ must die to become the way.
Yet so, with the skies, the followers wept,
thinking their leader crushed and gone
taken with cruelty by Calvary's arts.
What was Sabbath if Rome and the Pharisees swept
all aromas of liberty and hope thereupon
away with his promise from their sorrowful hearts?
Did they worship that day, with their minds in a tomb?
Did they eat of the Eucharist, recalling the plan
of his body and blood to be given and poured?
It seems that they didn't, for morning's grey gloom
surrounded the women with spices in hand
to fulful one last duty for their fallen lord.
Yes, Saturday held them in tumult and woes.
And Sunday rebuked them with folded clothes.
The idea for this poem came at Easter time in 2019, when our Church focus followed the timing of that weekend as it unfolded. Inevitably though, the Good Friday service could not be conducted without mention of the resurrection, and the “Good” of the Friday. Nevertheless, it got me thinking about the Saturday of that weekend, and the minds of Jesus’ followers in the midst of Roman oppression, Pharasaical religious pressure and power control, and the death of their hope, their leader. The accounts of the followers’ behaviour suggest that they weren’t eagerly awaiting his return to life, so they can only have been in a state of mourning, believing him permanently dead. And they must have been in a state of fear because of the political climate which Jesus had rocked. What surprise and relief and joy awaited them!