Items needed: Book: God on Mute by Pete Greig (This book isn’t used for the session but has a great section on Easter Saturday which inspired this session), Song – Tim Hughes – When The Tears Fall, pen, paper, bibles
Ice Breaker: Ask one person to try and remain completely silent (no laughs or anything) and invite one person to try to make them make a noise
Game 2: Invite your group to stay quiet for what they think is a minute (whilst you time it). Invite them to stand up when they think 1 minute has passed. See who gets the closest to being right!
Ask: What’s the longest you’ve been silent for? How do you find silence?
Explain: Easter week is busy for Christians, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and then Easter Sunday but we always forget one day…Easter Saturday
Ask: Who knows what happens on Easter Saturday?
Explain: This evening we’re thinking about Easter but more specifically Easter Saturday because we think a lot about the importance of Easter in our other sessions like ‘Why did Jesus die?’.
Easter Saturday is the most mysterious event in the Christian calendar, it’s rarely celebrated. Traditionally Roman Catholics and Anglican churches strip their alters bare and to many extents it’s the one day in the whole church year where the church is silent.
Even in our bank holiday tradition of Easter we have the Monday off, Friday is known as good Friday and the Sunday Easter Sunday but the Saturday is insignificant, the shops open as normal and nothing really happens.
When we think about it Easter Saturday is a bit of an in the middle day. We know that Jesus died for us yesterday and we know that tomorrow represents Jesus returning but today there’s nothing.
In the bible there only seems to be one thing that we’re told and that is found in Matthew
Bible: Matthew 27: 62-66
Ask: What does this tell us about Easter Saturday?
Explain: This tiny passage actually tells us very little about Easter Saturday but quashes all possibilities that the disciples could have removed the body of Jesus and pretended that He has risen and so gives us certainty about Jesus genuinely having come back to life but still leaves Easter Saturday as a mystery.
Ask: So what do you think the disciples were feeling on Easter Saturday?
Explain: We don’t know exactly what they did, it was the Sabbath so they probably didn’t do a lot because in Jewish tradition the Sabbath was a day of rest which meant there were laws stating they couldn’t do anything, traditionally even preparing a hot meal on the sabbath would have been forbidden.
Perhaps the disciples were all gathered in one place,
perhaps they were hiding from the Roman authorities,
perhaps they prayed.
We know that at least Thomas doubted Jesus’ resurrection and perhaps rightly so. The disciple had just had their world turned upside down, this crazy lifestyle they’d been leading with Jesus at control healing people and teaching them awesome things had suddenly been stopped by His crucifixion, they’d heard Him talk about His death and His resurrection but I wonder if they thought it would actually happen?
Ask: Who here experiences God all the time?
Who here has all their prayers answered instantly?
Explain: None of us always experience God, even the words of Jesus on the cross ‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me’ echo a empty feeling of being separated from the Father which is why Easter Saturday although we know nothing about it is so important!
We often spend our lives experiencing an Easter Saturday, a period of silence from God, a time of things being unknown, even Mother Theresa who is remembered for her faithful work for God wrote in her diary:
‘People think that my faith, my hope and my love are overflowing, and that my intimacy with God and union with His will fills my heard. If only they knew.’
We all experience an Easter Saturday, we’ve prayed or experienced God on the Good Fridays of our lives and we wait for Easter Sunday, we wait for an answer, we wait for a miracle, we wait for God’s presence to be felt again but whether we feel Him or not God is there
I want to finish with a quote and a chance for you to listen to a piece of music and spend some time thinking about the prayers God has answered for you but also the ones you’re still waiting for an answer to
This quote was found on the wall of a basement in Koln in Germany where a Jewish believer was hiding from the Gestapo in 1945
I believe in the sun even when it isn’t shining
I believe in love even when I am alone
I believe in God even when He is silent
Play: Tim Hughes – When The Tears Fall