We seem to live in a Good Friday sort of world. Instantaneous access to news, tweets, blogs and posts exacerbates our sense of chaotic dissolution. Fear and anger feed the body politic. We struggle to hang on to a shared commitment to the common good as atomizing factionalism breaks us into hostile camps. The marriage of terror with political paralysis fosters a sickening lack of confidence and the center cannot hold.
Here’s the thing, though: ours is an Easter sort of world as well. That’s the astonishing proclamation we make this Sunday on the heels of a disastrous Friday. Friday’s events are real for certain. But so are Sunday’s. This is the cosmic hope that lies at the heart of creation. There is nothing the world dishes out that is larger than God’s intention for forgiveness, restoration, justice and the enduring promise of love fulfilled.
As it has always been, our human task involves a decision: do we align ourselves with the powers of fear and death? Or love and life? Do we walk the distance with Jesus, who in his humility endured the worst so that he might manifest and share God’s very best? Or do we hang back with the posers and cowards, the fear-mongers and resilient narcissists of the “every-man-for-himself” variety?
The God of grace will not finally be denied. In the meantime, we have choices to make. Here’s an easy one for us that alluded Jesus’ own friends: with integrity follow along with him in these next days as he manifests God’s love for humanity. Go the distance through his final hours, into a very real death, so that come Sunday morning you may join him in very real life.
May you rise in joyful confidence come Easter day with the knowledge that no Good Friday disaster has the final word, and that Christ is risen indeed!
The Reverend Dr. Stephen Bauman