This piece is the second in a series of reflections on Lent and Holy Week.
I’ve been waking up to snow falling this past week. It’s April, and I live on the south coast of B.C. This is not normal. But then I guess nothing is right now. It’s such a strange and eerily beautiful sight to see snow falling on the cherry blossom trees. It’s a wet, heavy snow, yet the blossoms are holding their own.
This strikes me as an apt weather event for this Holy Monday. The Hosanna of blossoms still glorifying against the frigidity of what is coming. And portending what is beyond that. There will be spring. It may just take a while.
I feel like I had just stepped out of the liminal space that opened after the death of my spouse three years ago, only to emerge here, in a different liminal space. Now I am in exile as well as isolation. During a visit to my father-in-law two weeks ago, it was clear that he would not be able to manage on his own through this global crisis. If I’m honest, he shouldn’t be on his own anymore at all. I went home, packed up food and other things I would need into my car, and moved here. I don’t know how long I will be here or how it will unfold.
A year and a half after my spouse died, I wrote, “What is resurrection when it’s all fallen down around your ears? When your imagined future peters out, the path dissipating with every footfall until there is just a vast open landscape?”
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I thought I was writing about then, writing about myself. I couldn’t foresee that it would resonate so much with what’s happening to all of us right now. The whole world is in this odd in-between time. In that context, how do we imagine resurrection?
In today’s lectionary reading from John 12, Jesus is sharing a meal with Martha, Mary and Lazarus, whom he had recently raised from the dead. While he foretells his own death, resurrection sits right at the table with him. His friends have already witnessed this paradox, but they do not yet know how profoundly it will impact them in the future.
Our vantage point is similar. We know what will happen on Friday. But we also know that Easter will come. It will look very different than past Easters, but we know it must happen.
In this way, I answered my own question, continuing, “Resurrection is the pause for breath. It is re-seeing the emptiness as liminal space and knowing that what will be is the other side of what is. And it will be life anew, reimagined by the Divine Yes for one who is beloved.”
I hang on to that image as we march closer to the inevitability of Friday. In our global moment, I don’t know when that will be. But I trust that on the other side, there will be life anew, that the Divine Yes is active in this moment and that we are beloved. Thanks be to God.
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I will leave one comment, then share what I have been reflecting this spring.
Lazarus was not resurrected, he died again (more like resuscitated). Christ was resurrected because He conquered death, He will not die again.
Romans 8:21-22 states the earth is groaning to be set free from sin. Yet: the robins, cardinals and blackbirds sing for His Glory; the squirrels play and scrounge for food; and the early crocuses are the first to show their beauty.
We His people gripe about everything, though we have all; we worry and mope about tomorrow and wonder if we can afford our next meal; and we don't often reflect the Glory that God has given us.