Gray Saturday

I wrote this many years ago and post it every Easter weekend as a reminder. May it speak to you in some small way.

Gray Saturday
by Steve Laube

Holy weekend is such a study in contrasts.

Friday is dark. Somber. Frightening in its hopelessness and pain.
I do not like Dark Fridays.
The nails bury themselves deep into my soul.
They become a singular stake through the heart of this sinner.
Piercing. Rending. Bloody.
Vanquishing this creature of the night who dares to follow his own way.
Christ’s death becomes mine.
The death I deserve.
Alone. Anguishing. Agonizing.
There is no one or nothing that can assuage this dreary weight upon me.
I stand in silence. Staring at the stars and wondering if they can hear my cry or if they care.

Saturday is Gray.
Caught between the darkness and the dawn.
We move around as if yesterday had not happened.
Errands. Busyness. The routine. They conspire to distract from the lessons.
The mundane becomes standard. Bleak. Meaningless. Gray.
Why did Jesus have to wait for the weekend?
Why this middle day of contemplation and forgetfulness?
When night comes we will have survived the gray day.
But only because we know tomorrow is only hours away.
What would it be like if we did not know such hope?

Sunday is Light.
A celebration of life, love, and hope.
It is only because of Sunday that we can face the Fridays of turmoil.
Lift your face toward the dawn.
See the grace that speeds across the hills as the sun licks each place with its touch.
The Son touches your face and the chills of rapture spread to the tips of your toes.
This gives us reason to live.
This gives us reason to love.
This gives us reason to hope.
To live where there is no life.
To love where there is no love.
To hope where there is none to be found.

Unfortunately, we all live in the Saturday Gray.
Forgetting the darkness and depth of our sinfulness.
Forgetting the truth found in the dawn.

Let us be mindful of this during the coming months.
We have been given a choice of days in which we can live.
None of us want to wallow in Dark Friday.
None of us should be satisfied with Gray Saturday.
Instead, let us celebrate and embrace the peace and warmth of the gracious gift of Christ’s resurrection and life.

© 2002 Steve Laube

81 Responses to Gray Saturday

  1. Lois Hudson April 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Thank you, Steve, for this beautiful and poignant summary of this weekend.

    This morning I was thinking about Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We who know the outcome find it difficult to imagine what it must have been like for His followers. Then I thought of the assassination of John Kennedy (He was the hero of young America at the time, regardless of our later maturing viewpoints). It happened on a Friday (actually it was my birthday). On that gray Saturday, stunned and inert, we watched reruns ad infinitum wondering what would happen next. On Sunday, there seemed to be a “resurrection” of sorts when churches were filled to the aisles with people seeking understanding – then the stunning news of Oswald’s death, also on live TV, repeated ad infinitum.
    How great that our Resurrection Sunday is real, never to be compromised by the local news at eleven.

    • Kristy Lahoda April 15, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

      Steve, I’m so thankful I had a chance to discuss theology with you and this in particular this past Monday at MH. I’ve read this post before, and I had to re-read in light of our discussion–so good! And I just love the parallel of Gray Saturday to the life many of us currently live between accepting Christ and awaiting Heaven. It’s a challenge. And prophetic in that sense!

    • Elizabeth Hurlow-Hannah April 20, 2019 at 9:48 am #

      Are you giving permission toe copy and paste this beautiful writing. With complete attributions, of course!

      • Steve Laube April 20, 2019 at 10:20 am #


        Yes, you are free to repost.

    • Maco Stewart April 11, 2020 at 5:48 am #

      You ask “ What would it be like if we did not know such hope?“ It would be like how most of the world’s inhabitants live, those who have not bent the knee to Our Lord. In proud, compensatory, angry desperation hidden behind an often smiling, hypocritical face.

      Thanks, Steve. Yes. True words.

    • Patti Wade April 11, 2020 at 6:30 am #

      Thank you for this morning’s reflection.

      In this place of getting close but not there yet, I long for Sunday’s victory.

      Oh how He loves us!

      In Christ,

      Patti Wade

    • Ann Mccants April 3, 2021 at 10:47 am #

      This writing helps us understand this weekend is not about Easter ham and the bloom of lilies.

  2. Lois Hudson April 3, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Since you offer a Share button to Facebook, I will pass it along. I feel it should receive wide distribution.
    Thank you.

  3. Ben Whiting April 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Thank you for posting this.

    I think it’s useful to consider what Saturday was like for the disciples. I know I often take Sunday for granted from my post-resurrection perspective.

    Life looks far different when we live it in light of the fact that we have been both crucified and raised in Christ. It reminds me of the “put-off, put-on” principle–yes, our old lives have been carried away, but now we must live new ones.

  4. Kathleen April 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    “See the grace that speeds across the hills
    as the sun licks each place with its touch.
    The Son touches your face and the chills
    of rapture spread to the tips of your toes.
    This gives us reason to live.
    This gives us reason to love.
    This gives us reason to hope.
    To live where there is no life.
    To love where there is no love.
    To hope where there is none to be found.”

    Apropos for Easter and Poetry Month. This section quivers, shivers with hope.

  5. Marlo Schalesky April 3, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Thanks, Steve. Great stuff. I posted to my Facebook profile.

  6. sally apokedak April 3, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    This is wonderful, Steve. Thanks.

  7. Michael Snyder April 4, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    That’s awesome, Steve. Thanks for sharing this.


  8. Lynette Sowell April 4, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Thank you for sharing that. Beautiful!

  9. Carla Luan April 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    What a beautiful way to see this holy week. I’ve never asked myself why the Saturday wait and that question makes me even more aware of His sacrifice and love for us.

    Thank you for letting us all peek inside–through our books you always know what’s going on in our heads so this is a great change! I’m not surprised to find just what I thought would be in your heart.


  10. Janet McHenry April 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    Thank you, Steve. What insight into our Saturday kind of life.

  11. Heidi Shafer-Wilson April 4, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Thank you, I enjoyed reading this, it was wonderful. Thanks again for sharing it w/ me.

  12. Stacy Hawkins Adams April 5, 2010 at 5:11 am #

    Thanks for sharing this, Steve. It’s a wonderful reminder to carry throughout this week, which began with a lovely Sunday.

  13. Lenore Buth April 5, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    All the adjectives already given apply to this piece, Steve. Beautiful writing. Poignant. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing your heart…and your faith. Had I made it to Mount Hermon this year, I would have been in your workshop. Reading this makes it plain what depth and insights I missed and even more sorry I wasn’t there.

    Easter makes our hearts sing, but we’re no use if we keep that joyful shout inside. That’s our every-day challenge, isn’t it?

  14. Teddi Deppner April 9, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    “Lift your face toward the dawn. / See the grace that speeds across the hills as the sun licks each place with its touch. / The Son touches your face and the chills of rapture spread to the tips of your toes.”

    Ah, Steve. I’m posting this on my bathroom mirror. I need more of HIM in the morning, in fresh ways, things that wake me up, shake me up, and rouse me from the gray heaviness of an overwhelming to-do list. I need to roll that stone away, roll it over onto Him and walk in risen strength. Give Him my yoke so I can take His. Light. Easy. New with each dawn.

    THANK YOU for sharing your heart and your poetry.

  15. Steve April 9, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Thank you to each and every one who has commented here, posted a note on the Facebook entry, or emailed me privately. It has been humbling to say the least. May God continue to bless you all as we each seek to be conformed to His will, His good and perfect will.


  16. Sandra Heska King April 23, 2011 at 5:12 am #

    So powerful.

    Thank you for reposting. I’m glad I didn’t miss this.

  17. Judith Robl April 24, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    This bears repeating – and not just on Easter. We probably need the reminder again in August and December as well as April. Beautifully written, by the way. Thank you for posting it again. I missed it previously.

  18. Kathy Bruins April 7, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    You are truly a gifted poet. I loved the last couple that you shared … very meaningful. Thank you!

  19. Robin Patchen April 7, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Let us remember all three days, but let us not live in the despair of Friday nor the complacency of Saturday, but let us rejoice in the light of Sunday! Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it.

  20. Donna Pyle April 7, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Beautiful, poetic, and needed. Thank you.

  21. Linda April 7, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Wade Webster April 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Thanks Steve for sharing this every year. This is the first Easter weekend I’ve been subscribed to your blog.
    My own blog is peering into the Easter time frame. It will be a while before I get to Sabbath, but I agree that it was a time of deep reflection for Jesus’s followers who didn’t know what Sunday’s dawn would bring. Those of us who do know should take the time to refect on the depth of the entire event to everybody.
    I’m so glad you repost this. It’s fantastic.

  23. Patti Jo Moore April 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    This definitely spoke to me today…thank you so much for sharing with us. SO looking forward to celebrating His Resurrection tomorrow!!! 🙂

  24. Pamela Peterson April 9, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Loved your ponderings from the personal struggles out of the death of sin into the resurrected life. You might enjoy my post titled, “Resurrection from the Grand Canyon.” on

  25. Ane Mulligan March 30, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Absolutely beautiful and so right. We DO live in Gray Saturday. Thank you a timely reminder. I’m going to print this out and keep it next to my desk.

  26. Susi Robinson Rutz March 30, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I have so enjoyed both today’s and yesterday’s inspired poems. Thank you for posting them. Happy Easter to you and yours, Steve!

  27. Chris Loehmer Kincaid March 31, 2018 at 4:28 am #

    Thank you for sharing this poem, this year and every year. We all need this constant reminder of what these three days really mean to both believers and non-believers.

  28. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser March 31, 2018 at 6:47 am #

    Beautifully done, Steve. Thank you for sharing this with us again. An inspiration to thought, prayer, and penance.

  29. David L. Winters March 31, 2018 at 6:50 am #

    Steve, very nice. Thank you.

  30. Martha Rogers March 31, 2018 at 7:46 am #

    Thank you, Steve. A beautiful reminder of all this weekend means. Thank you for sharing it again.

  31. Sy Garte March 31, 2018 at 7:51 am #

    A beautiful and inspiring post, thank you, Steve. On this Gray Saturday, I often think of Peter, and how he must have felt, all his hopes dashed, the memory of his betrayal fresh in his mind. We all have felt this hopeless despair at times, but for Peter, it must have been crushing. And yet, as has been said so often, without these two bitter days, would the miracle of tomorrow ring so joyously in our hearts? There is no joy to match the unexpected, sudden knowledge of the Truth of Jesus Christ as Lord. I remember well when it first came to me, and the darkness, the grayness cleared away, and all was light.

  32. Nancy Golden March 31, 2018 at 8:40 am #


  33. Sister Georjean March 31, 2018 at 8:42 am #


  34. S. Kim Henson March 31, 2018 at 12:47 pm #

    Beautiful and true.

  35. Elena Corey March 31, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

    Thank you, Steve, for this thoughtful view of the time that seems to drag between the lowest points and the glorious resurrection of hope.

    Elena Corey

  36. Tisha Martin March 31, 2018 at 5:20 pm #

    Steve, this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  37. Catherine Allen April 3, 2018 at 9:12 pm #

    Exploring the holy weekend in this way is interesting and original. I was particularly struck by, “Christ’s death becomes mine.” This line moves one from merely, if deeply, appreciating His sacrifice, to embracing the agony of His death as our own, even as He embraced our sin as His own. The juxtaposition of ” . . . the darkness and depth of our sinfulness . . . ” with ” . . . the truth found in the dawn . . . ” powerfully expresses the paradox of our existence as believers, and the importance of holding these two concepts in tandem. Thank God for the dawn!

  38. Judi Clarke April 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

    What a profound description of life in this present in-between. Thank you, Steve.

  39. Maco Stewart April 20, 2019 at 5:26 am #

    Amen, brother. I felt the same way about yesterday, feel the same way about today. Waiting. Thanks.

  40. Ann L Coker April 20, 2019 at 6:03 am #

    Heartfelt reflection. I’m curious — if when you pull out something like this that you’ve written in the past and thought it was good — if you edit or change it.

    • Steve Laube April 20, 2019 at 10:18 am #


      When the content is timeless I do not edit or change. But if it needs updating or refreshing I do make the requisite adjustments.

  41. Sharon K Connell April 20, 2019 at 6:24 am #

    If today is Gray Saturday, it is still a DARK gray. But the dark days do not cover only 3. Jesus Christ was in the heart of the earth for 3 days – AND 3 nights. You cannot get three nights from Friday to Sunday morning. Still, the anticipation of Resurrection Sunday is before us.

    Can you imagine how those who loved our Savior back then and watched Him die on that cross felt, until they had the assurance of His resurrection? His mother, John, Peter, the rest of the apostles and followers? What faith the thief had while on the cross when he accepted the salvation offered by a dying Christ. What revelation the centurion had when he said, “…Truly this was the Son of God.” Matt. 27:54

    Tomorrow, we celebrate. I’m looking forward to celebrating this glorious day and knowing that someday I’ll rise from the grave myself, if the rapture doesn’t occur first.

    Again, thank you for the beautiful words, Steve.

  42. Roberta Sarver April 20, 2019 at 7:29 am #

    Thanks, Steve, for your beautiful thoughts. You can see a blog post called “Prettying Up the Cross” on

  43. Deborah J. Thomas April 20, 2019 at 7:59 am #

    Without analyzing this in depth, I’m nevertheless stuck with its originality and pensiveness. Have never thought about the grayness of Saturday, and it had to be so. But I’d feel more like depressed, glum, gloomy, deflated, weighted and despaired. Your notion of the three day contrasts was excellent. I was tapped by the notion that Jesus’ death became mine. I share the comment about the mystery of how a technical three days would put His resurrection on a Monday. However, I heard that in Jewish culture they count one day from its sunrise to its sunset. With that, the sunrise of the third day qualifies Sunday as the third day. Thank you, Steven, for this compelling offering, very nice.

  44. Jan K. Potter April 20, 2019 at 10:15 am #

    Beautiful! Thanks Steve.

  45. Nancy Jo Jenkins April 20, 2019 at 10:35 am #

    Thank you, Steve, for sharing your thoughts through poetry and prose. Each writing this weekend has tugged at my spirit, introspection reminding me of how lightly I take the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior. Thank you for words that cause me to dig deeper into my soul, with realization and thanksgiving. Nancy Jo Jenkins

  46. Janice Garey April 20, 2019 at 10:37 am #

    Wonderfully written.

  47. claire o'sullivan April 20, 2019 at 11:23 am #

    Thank you, Steve. Beautifully written. I was thinking about this yesterday. We celebrate Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and kind of rush through Saturday until Sunday, the Great Resurrection Day, and Exodus 12 from sin.

    I do not know if my theology is right on and always open to correction, but we like the disciples fall back into a stunned routine, hopeless, forgetful of the burial which is as significant as Good Friday and Resurrection Day in the light of the OT. Passover on Good Friday, preparation day, is that blood, that awfulness. Saturday is the burial of sin that we as Christians participate in, and of course, Resurrection Day is the ultimate, miraculous victory seen in the flesh.

  48. Norma Brumbaugh April 20, 2019 at 11:55 am #

    Your words are a poingnant expression of gospel truth. God be praised!

  49. Dawn Shipman April 20, 2019 at 1:18 pm #

    These are just lovely, Steve. So true–such good reminders. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Mary L. Johnson May 9, 2019 at 11:22 am #

    I will never think about the Saturday before Easter in the same way. Thank you.

  51. Karen Ingle April 11, 2020 at 5:29 am #

    What a timely meditation in these days of contracted and compacted grayness. Across the globe people are wading through a morass of numbing monotony mingled with a paralyzing fear of illness, loss, and death… “Forgetting the darkness and depth of our sinfulness. / Forgetting the truth found in the dawn. / Let us be mindful of this during the coming months.”
    You have encouraged me to stand in the gray swamp and sing praises to the coming Dawn. May others hear and join the song as the glory of our risen Savior dawns in their hearts with new hope and eternal life!

  52. Pam April 11, 2020 at 5:56 am #

    Very touching poem. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to tomorrow’s Light!!

  53. Mark Moss April 11, 2020 at 6:30 am #

    Thank you, Steve. Thanks be to God for all of these days.

  54. Nancy Julien Kopp April 11, 2020 at 7:20 am #

    Very nice; your poem fits this weekend perfectly. Several years ago I wrote a poem for Easter Monday about hoping to keep Easter in my heart all year long. This year, we need to do that more than ever.

  55. Ann L Coker April 11, 2020 at 9:08 am #

    For the in-between day:
    “Low in the grave He lay–Jesus, my Savior. Waiting the coming day–Jesus, my Lord.”
    For Resurrection Day:
    “Up from the grave He arose . . . And He lives forever with His saints to reign. . . . Hallelujah! Christ arose!”

  56. Donna K. Stearns April 11, 2020 at 2:19 pm #

    I hadn’t thought of the “Gray Saturday” perspective. It’s a good place to visit and contemplate the lessons of the dark days. But in the lessons are where we finally see the sun again. Thank you and have a blessed Easter.

  57. Tina Friesen April 11, 2020 at 3:32 pm #

    Your writing inspired me to meditate on Gray Saturday. Thank you! I put pencil to paper and wrote a few words.

    A Gray Day
    An agonizing cry splits the skies,
    As he hangs his head and dies.
    Life lies suspended between
    An empty cross
    And a sealed tomb.
    Doom hovers in a barren land that quakes beneath the weight.
    The curtain is rent.
    The sun is darkened.
    While graves yield their dead.
    A sunless day awaits.
    Too quickly the bright rays burst,
    And birds sing in chorus,
    Resurrection songs of morning,
    While blood-stained spikes
    Lie on the ground,
    A remnant of a gray day.

  58. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 12, 2020 at 9:02 am #

    The wide world shrank to single spot,
    and simply held its breath,
    for Christ was gone, was He not?
    How could God find death?
    How could He cry out so loud,
    that He had been forsaken?
    Were they right, the jeering crowd,
    were we all mistaken?
    Now the only hope was that
    He could somehow rise again,
    the boxer coming off the mat,
    fighting through the pain,
    but He was now so cold and still;
    how could a corpse this hope fulfill?

  59. Carol R Nicolet Loewen April 14, 2020 at 5:31 pm #

    Thank you for this meaningful piece, Steve. My mother just passed away – her first Easter in God’s presence – and I find myself bouncing between Dark Friday, Gray Saturday and the Light of Sunday. I know Mom is where she had longed to be for years already, in the presence of her Lord and Savior. But the pain of Dark Friday is still with me, the ‘waiting’ of Gray Saturday. But I know her Lord – and mine – will hold me in the waiting as He brings healing to my heart and spirit.

  60. Tonia Woolever April 3, 2021 at 5:28 am #

    Steve Laube, I love how you surprised me in this poem. I’ve celebrated dozens of Easters. Every poem I’ve read (and written) attempting to capture the sensations of these terrible, wonderful days ended with the triumph we know is coming. Your concluding challenge to live each day acknowledging and celebrating is right on.

  61. Mary Cates April 3, 2021 at 6:36 am #

    A sincere and moving piece of literature that paints the picture of our Savior – the Man of Sorrows – but gives us the assurance of eternal life in Him. Thank you Steve for sharing this.

  62. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 3, 2021 at 6:44 am #

    Everything had looked so bright,
    hope wove in gold on Heaven’s loom,
    but now grey cats stalk through the night,
    and Love lies in the tomb.
    Was is just a week ago,
    the dancing cheering throng?
    Could there have been some way to know
    that it would go so wrong,
    that our Lord would be betrayed
    by one of us, His friends,
    and then denied (just like He said!)
    before His last night ends,
    leaving us adrift, forlorn,
    wishing we had not been born?

  63. Peggy Morris April 3, 2021 at 9:03 am #

    So touching.

  64. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 16, 2022 at 3:20 am #

    Rudderless, each fell away
    as dark day became night,
    and turned again to Saturday
    with its dismal light.
    He said that He would rise again,
    but that, now long before
    the rocks were coloured with blood’s stain,
    and the stony cold tomb-door.
    The Voice they loved was fading fast
    from each memory;
    “I want to hold on to the last
    thing He said to me,
    not walk alone in this malaise
    through unnumbered lonely days!”

  65. Pam Halter April 16, 2022 at 4:33 am #

    Saturday is Gray.
    Caught between the darkness and the dawn.
    We move around as if yesterday had not happened.

    These lines hit my heart, Steve. 🙁

    Lord, help me remember, as I move around today, that yesterday was sharply real. For which I’m so thankful!

  66. BK Jackson April 16, 2022 at 6:28 am #

    Beautifully captures the turmoil of these 3 days. The horror at what Jesus went through for us on the cross, and the unspeakable gratitude that He paved the way for us.

    I think about the times we are living in now–they have been heavy and oppressive and everyone is feeling the weight of them–even though we have our Lord who will attain victory over all. But how terrible for the disciples as well those 3 days. A heaviness and sorrow we can only begin to imagine—not fully understanding the purpose of it all. And literally having to watch Him suffer and die.

    So thankful for His great love and mercy that knows no bounds..

  67. April 16, 2022 at 8:33 am #

    Beautifully said. Like you, I find Friday difficult to ponder on. I know it happened, but I don’t want to dwell on its happening. Jesus died for us sinners and I look around at the evil world crumbling and I wonder if we deserved such a sacrifice. But resurrection Sunday comes and I’m able to smile with hope, faith and love.

  68. Janet McHenry April 16, 2022 at 9:27 am #

    Thank you, Steve.

    “Thank you, Jesus. If it is true that you would have died for me alone, then it is also true that my sin stopped your lungs from breathing and stopped your heart from beating. Thank you for your saving grace and your daily mercies.”

  69. Virginia Graham April 16, 2022 at 11:18 am #

    Thank you, Steve. Happy Resurrection Day to your and your staff.

  70. Ken Litwak April 16, 2022 at 11:24 am #

    Thanks for this, Steve. It is beautiful. I’m not usually inspired by poetry. Nicely done. I do think about Gray Saturday often. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like for the disciples. All their efforts, all their sacrifices, it all came to a screeching halt. Life must have felt over for them. They got to live through Gray Saturday. The disciples must have wondered, “Now what do I do?” Catastrophes large and small happen in our lives. As you say, we live constantly in a Gray Saturday. Jesus’ death for us was a horrible event, but he knew resurrection was coming. We can do the same. Whatever happens, we will have a final Easter. Brokenness and sorrow gone because Jesus made the way for his followers to have a resurrection. Perhaps not in this life, but we can have a firm hope. Jesus has not left us a Gray Saturday with nothing beyond it.

    Thank you for reposting this.

  71. Kristen Joy Wilks April 16, 2022 at 2:10 pm #

    Thank you, Steve. So much to contemplate on gray Saturday.

  72. Gail Fisher April 16, 2022 at 2:38 pm #

    Steve–thank you for your profound and insightful poetic message. I definitely look forward to Easter Sunday and needed the reminder to live each day in love and faith.


  73. sylvia April 17, 2022 at 12:55 pm #

    Your poem spoke to my heart, my love for Jesus, and my awe for the Father being willing to send His son for my sins. Thank you for posting this, we all need the insight you gave us.

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