The Cast of the Holy Dance:
Jesus …………………..….. Star
Disciples …….…….…….. Learners/Instructors
Crowd ………………..…… Participants
Audience …………………. Spectators
Religious Authority…… Chief Priests/Teachers of the Law/Pharisees/Sadducees
Mary ………………………..The Mother of Jesus
Women …………………… Friends
The Cast Has Dispersed (Holy Saturday)
Matthew 27: 62-65
The curtain opens (Well, not really. There is no curtain. It tore yesterday.)
The Stage and The Audience…
The stage is bare except for a tomb tucked away in one corner. A large stone sits at the entrance of the tomb blocking any entry or exit.
The lights went black in the last Act at the same time that the Earth shook, and the curtain tore. It is dark.
The lighting crew is tempted to turn some of the lights on in the House. But they resist the urge.
The stone is BIG, maybe as big as the Chief Cornerstone that was rejected when the Temple was built. It is not a stone that can be easily moved.
And while it’s barely visible, the audience wonders how they were able to get it onto the stage. (Especially since the curtain was torn and it had to be done in the dark.) They didn’t see them set the stage, yet now they can see that it has been set.
The more they look at it and try to figure it out, the more amazed they are at how it even got there.
A dim silhouette of one dancer can barely be detected. The dancer is visible just enough to be identified as a guard. He is positioned in front of the stone.
The entire stage is still.
Time passes. No movement.
More time passes. No movement.
“Is there a problem?”, the audience wonders? But, no, there is no evidence that anything is happening other than the guard standing in front of the stone that blocks the entrance of the tomb where they had laid Jesus’ body in the previous Act.
They don’t hear the crew rustling around back stage like they are trying to fix something.
There is a sense that there aren’t even any dancers waiting in the wings to come out and dance.
Time stands still.
“What is the dancer, the guard, going to do?” “Is he going to move?” “Is he going to dance?” “Who would he dance with?” “Maybe he can’t dance because the Star is gone?” The Star is no more!
The audience has come to understand that all of the dance moves revolve around the Star.
They wait some more.
They keep waiting.
Many audience members begin to shift in their seats. It’s challenging to sit still for that long. Waiting can be brutal. Especially when you don’t know what’s coming next.
And yet, there is nothing for them to do but wait.
They certainly don’t want to cause a ruckus by getting up and walking out when it is so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.
Maybe the guard will start dancing soon.
The Crowd …
The crowd just vanished yesterday when the lights went out, the Earth shook, and the curtain tore.
No one knows where they went or what they are doing, if anything at all.
Maybe they are feeling a little or a lot guilty?
Maybe they feel convicted, so convicted that they are hiding? (Think Adam and Eve.)
Maybe they are just sleeping the day away so that they don’t have to face the darkness around them?
Maybe they are just going about doing what they would normally do on this day having adjusted and become comfortable with the darkness that surrounds them?
Maybe they are weeping?
Certainly, some of them now get it. They are dancers. They said yes to the invitation long ago.
They simply missed it. They missed which steps they were ultimately meant to follow. They got caught up in the crowd and it was difficult to see the Star so they followed the dancers closest to them.
The Disciples …
The disciples are together. Somewhere in a quiet room. Not on stage. Not dancing.
They know they got it wrong.
They danced too closely and too intimately with the Star for so long that there is no way they don’t see it now.
“Did they miss their chance?”
“Is it too late?”
“Is Jesus gone forever?”
Oh, how they feel regret! They feel shame, remorse, and totally lost.
There was so much joy just a few days ago when they so proudly ushered their King, THE KING, into Jerusalem. How did they miss it? How did they get so far away from the steps He had been teaching them for so long?
He told them this day was coming. They didn’t believe.
Maybe they couldn’t believe?
Maybe they were just too wrapped up in what it all meant for them that they missed the fact that the dance was for EVERYONE? Maybe?
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and The Women …
Can we say WEEPING?
Surrounded by her close friends, Mary is weeping.
They are in a small room of a home where together they can weep, and pray, and weep, and pray, and weep, and pray, and weep, and pray.
The women hold one another. Each giving the other all of the space they need to express whatever they are feeling in a safe place. A place where they pray for peace, healing, hope.
There is no hurry to push through the pain. The pain is there and they are allowing themselves to feel it. They feel it in the depths of their being. It is beautiful and tragic all at the same time.
They are weeping.
There is no maybe about it.
The Star …
He can no longer be seen.
Closed up in the tomb.
It just can’t be!
Please, Father, bring Him back!
Do like You did with Lazarus. Raise Him from the dead!
We need Him! We need You!
You are the Director of this dance. Bring Him back! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!!
The Stage …
Something/someone moves. The Act is over. The guard leaves the stage. Not dancing. Just walking. It is barely detectible, but it moves the audience to the edge of their seats. They won’t have to wait much longer. The stage is being set for the Final Act.
There aren’t many.
How could there be?
(And maybe there are too many. Maybe.)
Only one … Word!
It’s a silent day for each to reflect in their own way, in our own way.
It’s a day to think about all that has taken place up to this point.
The Triumphal Entry.
When Jesus Cleared the Temple.
“I AM the Messiah.”
The Day of Rest.
When the Curtain Tore.
It is a day to pray.
Jesus, don’t leave us now. You’ve taught us so much. We are so very sorry. We promise to do better. We see now, who You are. We know now, who You are. Come back to us. Save us from our wicked ways. Redeem us. Restore us.
Can You? Is it too late? Please, please, say it isn’t so.
We love You. We trust You. We want to follow You and learn more … SO much more.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
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