And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.
It was only Friday and the followers of Jesus had been on an emotional roller coaster.
On Sunday, Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem in triumph. By Thursday night it was all falling apart and his followers ran in fear.
On Friday afternoon, the worst happened, and they spent the next two days in total fear and darkness. Not understanding. Not knowing what was next.
All they could do was wait, but they didn’t know what for. They didn’t know what was coming.
Sort of like us in the middle of this quarantine, right?
I mean, just a little more than 40 days ago, who would have imagined our current situation as the ashes were placed on our foreheads?
Had we known about social distancing would we even have accepted the ashes, or the communion?
We didn’t know what was coming. We didn’t know to be afraid.
How quickly things changed.
For the disciples the hope was restored when Mary ran to tell them that the tomb was empty.
Almost immediately they were changed, they were emboldened, and their lives and ministry changed the world.
We don’t know when our Sunday is coming.
Surely, this Sunday as the churches are empty, we are reminded of the empty tomb. And we are reminded that the church is not the building.
But what of our current exile?
We can’t even get out to weep by the rivers of Babylon.
Look up the reference, it will do you good.
I heard a wonderful thing during an online church service last week. The pastor of the United Methodist Church that we’ve been attending noted that Sunday is Easter. Together, but alone, we lamented that we cannot be together as a church family.
But then he said this, and I paraphrase.
Whenever the time comes when we can gather again, THAT will be our Easter Sunday.
A little unorthodox, perhaps, but what a wonderful sentiment.
I’ve been thinking, I’ve been hoping, that this time away from everyone will make us more appreciative. More respectful. Maybe a little less snarky…if we stay off of Twitter.
In spite of the models, we don’t really know how many people we will lose. And we won’t know if the models were wrong or if social distancing will have worked.
But we will come out of this. And we will have a new hope.
Sunday is coming.