Good Friday-Easter-Pentecost

Here we are now in Ordinary Time – the season after Pentecost – and I’ve not written since Lent. It has been difficult for me to write beyond Lent when I am still personally in the space of asking, “How long O LORD, how long?” My husband has been ill for over 2 years….our season of wondering, wandering and waiting stretches on.

The biblical narrative of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday tells us, tells me, that suffering and pain and death do not have the final and ultimate say. They are not, in the end, the end. New life and new beginnings await us on the other side of suffering, pain and death. The invitation that beckons me in the midst of wondering “how long?” and that beckons each of us is to know and trust the One who accompanies us through the suffering, pain and death. Jesus suffered and died and lived anew. In that there is great hope - in the new life that Easter promises AND in the truth that Jesus meets us in our suffering, in our pain, in our agony and loneliness and in our dying because he too has been there. He meets us and leads us through to the other side.

Helpful questions to ask, in this Lenten desert experience, are – how is Jesus meeting me in this place and what does he want me to know?

The darkness of Good Friday leaves no doubt that the depravity of evil continues to exist. We need not look far to see that.

The wonderful Hallelujah of Easter tells us that love is stronger than death and stronger than evil and human depravity. The resurrection tells us that there is a power stronger than evil at work in the world. Divine love is present and active in the world and we can choose to be part of it. We can ‘repent’ – change our way of thinking and being – and give ourselves to that great love and participate in the global movement of bringing about God’s reign on earth. A cosmic shift – a new creation – has occurred with Jesus’s death and resurrection and we can be part of it.

The perplexing, wondrous event of Pentecost tells of one message understood and spoken by different cultures in different languages. As César Garcia, Mennonite World Conference General Secretary says it, “One message shared in multiple languages implies that the message assumes different forms in each culture. . . One message: Jesus – whose life, death and resurrection calls us to repentance and a radical life change. Only one message, with different nuances, forms and implications, but still one and the same message. Unity – with space for differences without changing – is the essence of the good news.”

And now, until Advent, we are in the long season of Ordinary Time. Time to grow and learn. Time to rest and find comfort. Time to stretch our faith muscles and move into new ways of knowing and living the good news of Easter.

How are you doing that?

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