I woke this morning somewhere in between nostalgia and hope. As I perused my Facebook news feed, I looked at pictures and read comments from the many celebrations of the Easter weekend reflecting on my own moments from days gone by. Some of my memories were lovely celebrations of life - just like the ones being shared by my online friends and family. I recalled other moments, however, that were shrouded with uncertainty, doubt, and at times, fear.
It dawned on me, while reading the many Easter messages posted, that the symbol of the cross, the grave, and ultimately the empty tomb was a vivid metaphor of life. Historians say that the actual crucifixion where Christ was on the cross lasted about six hours. Scripture tells us that the resurrection occurred "very early in the morning" - around dawn of the "first day of the week" which we deem as Sunday. The lingering moments from the cross to the empty tomb were the longest of all. From around three in the afternoon on Friday until dawn on Sunday morning, Jesus' body was in a sealed tomb while some of His followers mourned and remembered. Other followers who actually believed His promises, waited with anticipation. It is that place of waiting, that place of "in between" that we spend much of life in.
Sometimes we are like the followers of Christ in our Easter story who spent those hours mourning. We can't see the future and at times, not even our next step. So we hold on to fond memories of the past, worry about events yet to happen and try to focus on the present tasks at hand. At other times, we are like those awaiting the resurrection. We have a sense of purpose, determination and hope which causes us to experience growth. We see ourselves breaking through our existing circumstances like the blade of green in the picture above to where we can reach the light and thrive. We have hope!
The bottom line is we all live the bulk of our lives "in between" - not where we were, but not totally where we want to be. This is where faith comes in. There are two things all of us need - something to believe in and hope for and someone to encourage us in our belief and hope. We need someone to believe in us! Having those two things "in between" takes us from sacrifice to waiting and from waiting to fulfillment. This is the message of Easter! No matter what we face in this life, no matter how hard we work, no matter what detours we encounter or setbacks we face, there is hope and there is Someone sharing both in our sorrows and joys along the way believing in us, loving us, encouraging us, strengthening us and motivating us. It is the Divine Spirit of the resurrected Lord that works through the hearts, hands and voices of those in our lives through the many moments "in between." Hang on - hope is rising and dawn will be here before you know it!
Have a Blessed and Lovely Easter,