In our church and in many churches this week many services will be offered to help us walk through Holy Week.  Some churches will offer a weekday service Monday through Friday.  Others, like ours, will focus in on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday commemorating Jesus’ final meal with his disciples and his crucifixion and death respectively.  But very few services are offered to help us reflect on Holy Saturday when Jesus is in the tomb and nothing happens.

So, with this Thursday Thought, I’d like to invite you to place yourselves in the position of the disciples on Saturday.  Your world has been decimated.  Your teacher can teach you no more.  Your Lord can lead you no more.  Your messiah, the anointed one, the one you thought would lead Israel to glorious restoration and you to the heights of that glory is now cold dead.  Just a few weeks ago, you had been squabbling over who was the greatest and who would get the best seat in the house of God’s kingdom.  Just a few months ago, you had seen the wounded healed, the blind given sight, the oppressed set free, the hungry fed with five loaves and two fish, and a storm calmed by the power of his voice.  And now, a tomb you cannot even open on your own.

Our struggle in putting ourselves there, of course, is that we know the rest of the story . . . we know about Easter morning . . . but the disciples did not.  Jesus had tried to tell them, but they didn’t know.  They were truly in what we call a liminal space—that time between the death of what was and the birth of what yet may be.  What was the concrete reality of our existence . . . our foundation . . . is gone, and the possibilities of what yet may be are not yet formed, still as yet unseen.

It is the first day of retirement.  It is the morning after the death of a loved one.  It is sitting in the car outside of the lawyer’s office after the divorce papers are signed.  It is waiting on test results.  The time between what was and what yet may be but is not yet.

The promise of a liminal space is the possibility of newness, transformation, metamorphosis . . . the promise of a liminal space is found in the power of God who promises to work all things for the good.

But the challenge, the often, overwhelming challenge, of a liminal space is to wait . . . is to wait in openness . . . is to wait in openness for what yet may be without trying to force our way back to what is already gone.  The challenge of a liminal space is to wait in openness and patience for the God who does not work on our timetables, patience for the deep work of personal transformation that always takes longer than we would wish.  The challenge of a liminal space is to wait in openness and patience and trust . . . trust that the one who has promised to never forsake us is yet with us and that the one who has promised to work all thing for the good is steadily weaving every moment of our existence, even this one, into a grander whole than we could hope or imagine.

So today, this weekend, I invite you to wait alongside the disciples.  I invite you to wait with openness, patience, and trust.  I also invite you to wait alongside one another.  There are likely brothers and sisters in our church, among our friends, in our families who are living in a liminal space—having said goodbye to one life and yet waiting on the arrival of a new one.  Let us wait alongside the dark, dark tomb beside them with the light of our love and prayers, and let us see what God may yet be doing.