When I was in seminary, academic types often bandied about the words “already and not yet”–they were talking about the reign of God but they could have been talking about Holy Saturday as well.
Today is Holy Saturday–a day of silence and a sealed tomb. A day of not yet in a year of already. Every year at this time, I find myself wanting to live this day slowly, by myself, uninterrupted by conversation. I like to linger in the not-yetness of the day. I like to pause before the sealed tomb.
Somehow the emptiness of the day speaks to me. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I have known emptiness and know well that emptiness will visit me again. Maybe it’s because the cries of Good Friday still ring in my ears.
Maybe it’s because I need some space between the Good Fridays of life and the Easter morning alleluias. I need some time to wait and watch and pray. Time to sit in sadness.
Time to sit in sadness with Korean parents hoping against all hope that their children will survive. Time to sit in apprehension with people in the Ukraine as they look out at an uncertain future. Time to wait and time to hope that Christ’s promise of rising to new life will come to pass.
Time to hope that that newness of life will spread across the globe and throughout our lives seeking out the eddies and low places like a mountain stream when the snows begin to melt. Time to hope for the living waters to flow into lives longing for newness of life.
Yesterday, many of us walked the Urban Way of the Cross. We heard stories of Christ being crucified in Albuquerque–workers having their wages taken from them, women out of work and out of luck because they carry the moniker “felon,” children going unfed because their family cupboards are bare, housed but still homeless people struggling with loneliness that comes when folks leave their communities of support. Each step we took, each street we crossed brought us closer to the cross, closer to the sealed tomb. A somber walk in silence.
We went our separate ways. We scattered like the disciples of long ago. Now we wait in silence. Now we wrestle with the question “Where is God?”
But there’s an already to our not yet. We know that tomorrow the alleluias will ring out. We know that tomorrow, in the midst of our sadness, at the center of our emptiness, the risen Christ will meet us on the dark road that leads away from the empty tomb. We know that he will greet us and then assure us, “Do not be afraid.”
Tomorrow we will become again a part of the Risen Christ. Tomorrow we will sing out “Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
Tomorrow we’ll gather with our brothers and sisters at St. Martin’s and we will live into the resurrection.