Holy Saturday: Tethered by Love

Today I have to buy potatoes for Easter dinner.
Today we have agenda.
Today returns us to ordinary time
a housekeeping pause,
between the bleak of Good Friday
and the colour of Easter.

In the alchemy of these three days
this day something powerful is taking place.

This is the day Jesus “descended into hell.”
(From the Apostles Creed.)
It is a day etched in poetry, art and medieval theology.
(There is not much trace of it in the Gospels.)
The images and icons show Jesus releasing the lost and unsaved.

Why did Jesus descend into the depths of the human condition
where there is nothing but raw pain and utter forsakenness?

The answer is in our heart.
In the hidden, tucked away, bordered spaces
and we make our way there by feeling deeply.

Feeling deeply
our longing to live our life the way we want to live it.
Feeling deeply
the fragments of hurt and fear, that done against us and that we’ve done.
Feeling deeply
our way into those hungers numbed by busyness
or cut off by tactics of killing time.
Feeling deeply our heart-way to
the light in ourselves we cannot believe
the shadows we pack away but are never gone
the best and worst of who we are.

balancing stoneThis is the day that balances the opposites.
Between death and life,
Between sadness and celebration,
Between lamentation and joy,
Between hurt and healing
Between broken and whole,
Between ordinary and complex.
Today, balances the opposites.


Whatever hell is
will still be hell on Monday.

Yet, this I know.
This is the day Jesus sat surrounded by agony and anguish
and the full pain of the human condition.
He sat there in hell, “not judging, not fixing, but letting it be in love.”*

Weaving it all in Love.
This means we are not alone in our deepest places of pain.
This means can make our way into our heart
feeling deeply,
feeling deeply,
we are tethered by Love.

*Cynthia Bourgeaut in her book, The Wisdom Jesus.


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  1. Thank you, Janice.

  2. Such deep and beautiful words Janice! Thank you for all that it takes to patiently wait for them to rise in you, and then to share them with all of us. You, and your beautiful words are a gift to the world.

  3. Thank you Janice. You are gifted.

  4. Thank you Janice for sharing your gift of words so freely.

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