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  • Rev. Dana Porter Ashton

The Silence of Saturday


Blessings and Love,

We received this awesome submission from Rev. Denise Burris and wanted to share it with you. Rev. Denise Burriss is an Itinerant Minister in the AME Church. Ordained in 1990, she is the Minister of Health and Wellness at Turner Memorial AME Church. Rev. Denise holds a BS Degree in Psychology from the University of the District of Columbia where she graduated Cum Laude, and is currently studying towards a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy and Anatomy Based Yoga for Healing. As the Minister of Health and Wellness, Rev. Denise conducts Wellness and Nutritional Workshops to share her life-long learning on the benefits of following the philosophy: “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food”.


For those who were with us for our 2020 SEDWIM Self Care Retreat, you remember Rev. Denise as the Yoga Instructor who had us stretching our bodies and breathing to obtain peace. Please read and enjoy this word of encouragement.... Peace, Rev. Dana


The Silence of Saturday


Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and culminates in the greatest celebration of all, Resurrection Sunday. We are all familiar with the celebration of Good Friday, often remembered with the Seven Last Words of Jesus on the cross. But what about Saturday? What took place on Saturday, between the Crucifixion of our Lord and Savior on Friday, and His Resurrection on Sunday morning? Four verses in the Bible give us a picture of what happened on Saturday. Silence. In Matthew 27: 62-66, we read that the religious leaders of the time went to Pilate on the Sabbath (Saturday) to ensure Jesus’ tomb had extra guards and protection, to ensure the Disciples would not steal Jesus’ body to prove that Jesus was correct in saying, ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’


What the religious leaders didn’t realize is, the Disciples were not plotting to steal Jesus’ body. Instead they were wallowing in the silence and unanswered prayers of that Saturday They were terrified they might be next; that the mere association with Jesus would lead to their own crucifixion, and they were grieving the loss of a friend and teacher. Did the Disciples forget their conversation with Jesus just a few days earlier? When talking to his Disciples on Thursday, Jesus took time to warn them about the grief, disappointment, doubt, and silence they would encounter during the days to come. Maybe they didn’t realize that Silent and Listen are composed of the same six letters. John 16:20-22 records Jesus saying, “I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born, she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you; now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”


Jesus was talking about his death - about the darkest day the Disciples will ever experience. He knew they would be met with silence. But Jesus was asking them to wait. To hold on to the hope He offers them - the hope that lies beyond the pain, the grief, the doubt - and Silence. I am strangely comforted by the story of the Disciples on that Saturday.


We can find comfort in remembering that despite the silence we are sometimes faced with, Jesus promises that joy is coming. In our times of pain, grief, misunderstanding, and confusion… In those moments when we are left wondering in the silence of God, and unanswered prayers in the moment… When we are stuck in our Saturdays - the days following our darkest moments, we can hold on to this promise - one that Jesus gave his Disciples some 2,000 years ago. Joy is coming. A joy that no one can take away.


Rev. Denise Burriss, Minister of Health and Wellness, Turner Memorial AME Church Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, E-RYT


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