april 7th, 2012 – it’s alright, everything will be okay.
today i walked to safeway to meet beth, who was buying a few things for our easter dinner tomorrow. as i was walking, i took in everything around me. the sun, the clear sky, the emptiness of the neighborhood, and i almost forget. i almost forgot that today was holy saturday.
last night i got to go to a good friday service at the south san francisco corps, a corps i consider to be part of my extended corps family. the o’briens did something i thought was daring and bold and perfect. we spent the first 22 minutes of the service reflecting on a list of scriptures while listening to beth play the piano and looking at a slideshow. the only sound in the chapel was the piano. it was just us, individually and communally, and God. and then we did what i’ve never understood until yesterday. we went to mitchell’s and i got a new york cherry ice cream cone. then andrew came and we played apples to apples and i completely abused the adolf hitler card. the cross got kind of blurry in the background, just like it does every day of my life.
and there was a lot of weight in what happened yesterday, for sure. the ultimate sacrifice was made, Jesus laid his life down for us, and because we know that Sunday is coming, we can rejoice in the quiet moods in our sanctuaries.
but holy saturday is getting to me. imagine the disciples. i bet they woke up hoping it was a bad dream, hoping to see Jesus coming towards them from the horizon, having just come from his quiet time in prayer. perhaps some of them woke up and started crying because they couldn’t forget the reality of it. Jesus died. he left them. one minute they were following this man, praised and celebrated, and suddenly he was willingly taken from them.
imagine the questions. what now? where now? Jesus had told them to leave everything behind and follow him. all they had was this man, and then he was gone.
maybe they remembered the time in the boat, when Jesus was sleeping and a storm was raging on..
“tiny boat on an angry sea, sails torn and tattered;
how could Jesus be fast asleep, like it doesn’t matter?”
it is hard to believe that any of the disciples could have imagined the calming of the sea. they probably had no idea that when Jesus awoke, he would stretch his hands over the water and command the wind and the waves to calm down.
in the same way, could the disciples have ever imagined what will be celebrated tomorrow, the empty tomb and the risen Messiah, declared and witnessed as alive and well by hundreds of people all across the land? today, did they know that Jesus completely messing up their lives wasn’t over – it was just starting.
the old way was gone. life on this earth would never be the same, not for all of the human race or a certain race or an individual.
that’s a conversation for tomorrow, though.