Today is not St George’s Day here in England.
“But it is,” some object, “It’s 23rd April. That’s St George’s Day.”
Not this year, it isn’t.
The church calendar for this special season of the year takes precedence over saints’ days (we’ll overlook the dubious nature of George as a saint), and this year it’s relegated to 2nd May.
So what is today – Easter Saturday?
No, not that either. Easter doesn’t start until tomorrow. We’re still in Lent today. Easter Saturday is in a week’s time.
Today is Holy Saturday, one of the most neglected days of the church’s year. It is the day when, as my friend Will Grady posted on Twitter and Facebook earlier,
It’s the day of waiting. Jesus is still in the tomb, so to speak. Hopes are still dashed. Darkness still covers over hope. It forms a wonderful section in Pete Greig‘s book on unanswered prayer, God On Mute, where he recognises that this darkness is where many people spend much of their lives. We wait in the tomb of hopelessness, with our prayers seemingly unanswered or refused, not necessarily knowing that it is all going to burst out of the tomb in new and unexpected ways tomorrow. Greig quotes the poet R S Thomas, who says that God is ‘the darkness between stars’.
So let’s not rush past today in the hurry to prepare for tomorrow. If we get a chance, let’s linger here. Because many people are – often against their will.
Later tonight – after sunset – my Easter Day sermon will appear here on the blog. But in the meantime, let’s wait – especially with those who are living protracted seasons in Holy Saturday.