Today is Holy Saturday. We are in the grave with Jesus so we neither eat nor drink awaiting the rising of the Son.
During this time I have been translating Chinese from the Luoyong Pillar discovered in 2006 in China. It is evidence of Christianity in 9th century China.
…like the tide that fills the bay, the Sun that rises and the darkness that vanishes, so is His great tranquility witnessed by every element in nature. You shall comprehend your existence and rejoice always. The Fifth Side: Line 21
On this day we contemplate our mortality. The above text deeply struck me to the point of tears.
A brother whom another brother had wronged came to see Abba Sisoes and said to him, “My brother has hurt me and I want to avenge myself.” The old man pleaded with him saying, “No, my child, leave vengeance to God.” He said to him, “I shall not rest until I have avenged myself.” The old man said, “Brother, let us pray.” Then the old man stood up and said, “God, we no longer need you to care for us, since we do justice for ourselves.” Hearing these words, the brothers fell at the old man’s feet, saying, “I will no longer seek justice from my brother; forgive me, abba.”
A brother asked Abba Sisoes, “What shall I do, abba, for I have fallen?” The old man said to him, “Get up again.” The brother said, “I have got up again, but I have fallen again.” The old man said, “Get up again and again.”
Once upon a time there was a father and his two children who walked through a field of flowers. The little girl said, “Look at the pretty flowers, Father!”
The bees hopped busily from one flower to another. One of the bees overheard the little girl and said angrily, “Why don’t the humans look at me? Are not we bees pretty too?”
The little boy gripped his father’s hand and asked, “Will the bees sting us?”
The Father said, “Do not worry son; the bees are busy in the work they do. If you do not interfere with their work they will not bother you. Their beauty is in the work they do.”
That night as all the bees were in their hive Yellowbelly Stingbee danced in circles until all the bees gathered around him. “Busy bees, busy bees, gather round. Today I heard the humans say that we are not pretty. (Now this was not true. The human only said the flowers were pretty). Let us forget about the flowers and take care only of ourselves.”
The Queen Bee spoke up and scolded Yellowbelly Stingbee, “My son, our beauty is in the work we do. We must take care of the flowers. Busy bees, busy bees; do not listen to these honey-coated words. It is the nectar of poison to forget our work.
But the bees did not listen to the Queen Bee. Each day the bees rubbed royal jelly on their bellies and forget about the flowers. Soon all the flowers died in the meadow. Winter fell on the land and the humans were not seen again.
The bees listened every day to Yellowbelly Stingbee buzz his silly thoughts to others. He told the bees that the flowers would poison them if they touched them. The bees played in the hive with no thought of tomorrow.
After many years bees were born who never saw a flower and the bees who had seen them forgot about them.
One year a new bee came to the hive and said, “I am the son of the King Bee. Please, my busy bees, return to your work of caring for the flowers.”
All the bees laughed at the Son of the King Bee and told him, “The flowers are poison to us. Who believes in flowers? We believe in ourselves.
Yellowbelly Stingbee looked up from a dewdrop one day and said, “Busy bees, busy bees, we know there is no such thing as a King Bee. This bee is a fraud. We all know that the flowers will poison us if we touch them. Do not trust this bee who calls himself Son of the King Bee.
But the Son of the King Bee would gather a few of the younger bees around him and tell them stories about the lilies of the field. Soon the older bees began to be jealous and flew into action secretly against the Son of the King Bee. Several bees attacked the son of the King bee in the night and wrapped him in a leaf and carried him across the river and left him there for dead. Everyone knows that a bee cannot live outside his hive at night. He will soon die.
Many of the younger bees were sad when they heard of what the older bees had done to the Son of the King Bee. The next morning some of the younger bees decided to go acrossthe river and found their dead Son of the King Bee. But just as the sun began to rise, theyheard a sound so beautiful it hurt to listen. A brilliant white flower arose up out of the ground across the river where the Son of the King Bee had been left. It rose up to a great height and opened up and there upon its blossom was the Son of the King Bee. Then to the amazement of all the bees the Son of the King Bee awoke and began to drink the golden nectar.
“Stop, do not drink the nectar of the flower!” the bees buzzed. But to their surprise, the Son of the King Bee rose up more golden and beautiful than ever. Now the bees knew that what Yellowbelly Stingbee had told them was not true. The flowers were not poison.
Soon the bees returned to the meadow and began to take care of the flowers. After many days the Son of the King Bee appeared high in the sky and some thought they heard him say before he disappeared forever, “Your beauty is in the work you do!”