Advent’s Good Friday Tenebrae service concluded not too long ago and I am sitting in my office as a few folks linger in the warm embrace of the sanctuary reflecting upon a service which walked through the last moments of Christ’s life. Tears were shed, hearts were opened and perhaps even lives were changed as we pondered just what it all means. As I made my way back here to my office I could not help by wonder what it must have been like for those who loved Christ so much to see his body broken, beaten, hung and then dead. And then what must it have been like for them to watch as he was put in a tomb. What were they thinking? What were they feeling? If the response of those who gathered here tonight for our broken attempt at recreating such a moment is any indication those who watched Christ die, who experienced his body being taken to a tomb most certainly felt pain, deep pain, real pain. Ultimately, all they had known as love, peace, hope, grace, mercy was taken from them. And they were forced to cope.
Then what? For us now we wait, we wait in reverence for we know how the story ends and our proclamation will be bold on Sunday at the outcome of Christ defeating death and giving us life. But what about them- the mother of Jesus, the other women, the disciple and all those who loved him and knew him- what was there “Saturday” like? Sure, some of us will have Easter Vigils worships, some of us will have easter egg hunts, others will set up the church and get ready for the party that is to come- but what about those first disciples? They were afraid, they were scared- everything had been taken from them.
So as I wait now for Sunday to come and get ready to celebrate in a major way with a community that loves me and I love I wonder about myself and you- what is it that we are feeling now as we wait? Is it possible that we, like those first followers of Christ have things we are scared of even in the knowledge of a God that loves us and who has risen? What do we need to bury at the cross, what do we need to let go of- you see I think really that the rest of this Good Friday and the day of the vigil- the waiting- for Sunday can be a time to really examine what it is that I need to be freed of. For if I do that then Sunday when I celebrate the gift of a resurrection not only will I celebrate as I do each year the amazing act Jesus accomplished but also the gift of my own things, my own life, my own very self being risen. I encourage you- if you are reading this- to do the same, to take your pain, your anger, your fear, your frustration, your… to the tomb with Christ and leave it there. Then be risen…be risen indeed.