As the contemplative season of Lent approaches its end and we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter, let us not forget that awful and glorious moment in-between:
That awful moment when the powers of the world hoisted Jesus up onto the cross and watched as he died.
That glorious moment when Christ became victorious over those very same powers.
This is the moment of atonement – the at-one-ment – when Jesus woke us to the realization that we have been at one with God all along. Somewhere along the way, we closed our eyes, too often deciding to live in darkness rather than in the light of God’s love. Jesus showed us what God’s love looks like. It is a love that dares even death.
During this season of Lent, we have removed our masks and our shoes. We have shed the powers of the world, the sickness of worry and the burden of weariness, if only temporarily. We have figuratively revealed our whole selves to God. We stand naked before the cross, just as Jesus did.
Jesus faced the cross alone. We face it together, as a community of faith. We catch one another when we stumble. We help carry one another’s cross. We hold one another when the pain becomes too great to bear. And, when it is time, we help one another down from the cross.
This is what Jesus meant when he commanded, “Love one another as I have loved you.” To the cross. To the death.
And into life.
This is Easter – a tomb that is open and empty, and hearts that are open and full.
Peace and love,