New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Today’s Reflection

HOLY SATURDAY awkwardly interrupts the church’s calendar. We read in Luke of the women who rest on this day in sabbath observance. But we find it hard to replicate their rest in our day.

The prior week’s preparations for palm processions, Passion Week cantatas, and/or seven last word recollections leave little time for decorating sanctuaries and making ready for Easter breakfasts and final practices of brass quartets for Sunday’s allelulias – not to mention eggs to dye and family banquets to prepare. So much to do on Saturday and so little time.

But Holy Saturday offers this advice to activist-bent individuals and congregations and denominations like my own: Don’t just do something, stand there. Sometimes, our busyness cocoons and insulates us from deep consideration of why we think our lives require constant motion. Busyness has often been a prescription for overcoming grief. Do this, do that, work your way out of it. But once the activity dies down, when exhaustion inevitably sets in, the questions and the pain remain, perhaps aggravated by delay in their contemplation.

The women in Luke [23:55-56] actively engage in the immediate aftermath of crucifixion. They follow to see where the body has been taken. They prepare spices and ointments for anointing the corpse. But instead of pressing ahead in a rush to get things done ASAP, they stop. They keep sabbath. In Luke’s terms, they rest. Luke’s word Heschazo carries dual meanings of “to keep quiet” and “to cease from labor.” The women keep Saturday’s vigil in stillness and quietness.

– John Indermar
Worship in Light of the Cross

From page 105 of Worship in Light of the Cross: Meditations for Lent by John Indermark. Copyright © 2016 by John Indermark. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Plan time to be still and quiet with God today. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

Matthew 27:66, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those affected by gun violence. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Sister Thea Bowman (March 30).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


  • Jill Posted March 31, 2018 6:43 am

    Yes – indeed quietness is called for. I luxuriously laid in bed for quite a long time this morning, letting the chaoticness of the past five + weeks dissipate.
    Yesterday at the oncologist office, mom decided to opt in for the chemo. I was very surprised, as was my sister. And now, it seems that I can close that chapter of this journey. Finally, resolution…a decision. Five weeks out from the surgery – it seems that we have some direction. So very unsure of what lies ahead, but eerily comforted that mom is willing to give it a go. She is stronger than she believes…that is what dad consistently tells her – and this may be evidence. It looks like it will begin mid-April – will get a firm date within a week.
    So hoping mom will be able to join the family as we gather at my sister’s tomorrow.
    Attended church last evening and it was so good to be there with a cleared mind and to receive the Word. Also, the counseling pastor gave me some resources regarding cancer and cancer support.

    • Andrea Posted March 31, 2018 9:47 am

      Jill, I am hapoy to hear your mother will accept treatment. What an Easter blessing.

      Have a blessed Easter tomorrow, dear UR friends.

  • Julie Posted March 31, 2018 8:12 am

    Jill, how relieved you and your family must be that a definitive answer and path forward has been set. I pray for your mother to be strong and resolute during her treatment. I pray the four of you enjoy Easter together.
    I hope to find time today in my busyness to do what this reflection describes. It sounds quite valuable to understand the minds of those present after the crucifixion. Every year I try to place myself in that time and feel the despair those who loved Jesus must have felt. And yet still the hope as well that surely they clung to as they observed the sabath.
    Prayers and blessings for and thank you to all of my UR family.
    A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
    Henry Adams

  • Lou Posted March 31, 2018 9:16 am

    Prayers for your mother and your family Jill as you continue on this journey- I pray for peace and strength for your mom.
    Prayers for all today who struggle with any kind of pain – Julie I hope that your pain is lessening and that your family situation is improving-
    I am not in a location that is necessarily peaceful-a resort bouncing with energy – but within it I have tried to find quiet and stillness as I will today. My daughter and I have been having a nice time away without much teenage drama- that has been nice for us.
    I pray for safe an uneventful return tomorrow – it will be Easter and I have never in 54 years missed an Easter at church – this year I felt I couldn’t be in my normal setting- but it is ok- I will still worship the King.
    I pray for God’s blessings for all here at the UR.

  • robert moeller Posted March 31, 2018 9:50 am

    I’m thankful for a quieter day. Back from a walk in bright sunshine up and down hills near the house. Didn’t see today’s reflection earlier this morning.

    Long ago today was both the sabbath and the first day of Passover. Not sure what happens when Passover comes on a sabbath. Additionally those women who believed in Jesus were preparing to go to the tomb to anoint the body. I assume there was a religious blend of calm, peace, worship, mourning, and work.

    In a way today is somewhat like that for us. The sabbath and worship come
    tomorrow, Jesus has made a big difference, but calm, peace, mourning, and work remain as we prepare to celebrate the day of days in our faith.

    I pray for God’s wisdom, guidance, and support as Gloria begins treatment. Lord, Jill, Larry, and Becky are in Your hands too. These have been long and tough days leading up to this decision.

    Prayers for Julie’s hands and foot as the weather warms. God’s wisdom and guidance be with you Julie as you make decisions.

    Thankful for the news from Lou of a wonderful outing with your daughter.
    That is a blessing to have that time together.

    Best wishes for a happy, blessed, and holy Easter to all of the UR family. Hope to read posts soon from those we miss greatly.

    Am away to Brooklyn Monday morning and will be back in VT Thursday evening. Will have my computer and hope to be able to get on line.

    • Andrea Posted March 31, 2018 8:44 pm

      Safe travels, Robert. Wishing you a blessed Easter.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted March 31, 2018 7:38 pm

    It is great to be still and quiet.

    Thank you God for time to be still and quiet, praying, reflecting and journaling.

    Robert, have a safe and good trip!


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