Saturday, April 16, 2022

The pattern of our lives. . .

The period between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is awkward and ill fitting.  This is not where we want to be.  Standing before the Cross we are moved to humble silence as the body of our Lord grow limp after the sigh and commendation to the Father.  Easter Sunday is where we want to be but it is not yet on the Church Calendar.  So here we are.  Waiting.  None of likes to wait.

But this is literally where we are.  We live between the cross and Christ's redemptive suffering for our sin and His death to kill death and our own joyful resurrection with Him and in Him.  This is where the Christian life is lived.  Christ is risen but we are not yet raised to dwell with Him in glorious flesh.  We are always waiting in this mortal life.  Waiting not for death but our own resurrection.  It would be a terrible place except that the cross is behind us just as surely as our resurrection is before us.

We wait.  Not the aimless wait of a people who do not know what is coming but the anticipatory wait of a people who know and long to have what is coming.  We are like those children who must go to bed on Christmas Eve having seen the gifts under the tree but not yet able to unwrap them.  It is a night long in coming -- not because the hours have been extended or time slowed but because of the longing for the future that is coming.  That is how we live.  We live in joy because of the cross and yet in hope for the finished joy of the resurrection of the body, the new and glorious flesh, and the bidding of Christ to come and enter into His eternal joy.

We have been here before.  We know what Easter Sunday will bring.  The alleluias will return.  The great paschal greeting will be exchanged in shouts of joy.  We sing the glorious songs and sit amid the splendor of the lilies, trumpets, and organ.  Easter is not simply told but preached into our ears again.  It is not new news but old news we have waited all Lent to hear.  Yet it is not yet done or completed or consummated.  It is prefigured among us.  We see Christ raised and know we are raised (1 Cor. 15).  Death has not won but His life is not yet perfected in us.  We are new by baptism into Christ but still live in but not of the world.  That is the real shape of the Christian life.  We wait.  Not on the unknown but on the known.  Christ has died!  Christ is risen!  Christ will come again!  Maranatha is the ever and always prayer of the Church.  Christ the first fruits and then we will come through Him and in Him to the place He has prepared for the glory that will never end.  But for now.  For the whole of this mortal life, we are a waiting people.

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