"On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment." -Luke 23:56b
These past weeks, the winds of contagion and chaos have swept across the nation, blowing confusion and uncertainty into most aspects of life. A simple trip to the grocery store now requires make-shift Personal Protective Equipment ("PPE") and carries with it a concern for contamination. A casual walk around the neighborhood now compels passing walkers-by to anxiously measure in their mind the distance between themselves and oncoming traffic. Was that really 6'? The weekly breakfast gathering with dear friends is now a grab-n-go from Schoop's and a Zoom meeting so we can at least see the faces and hear the voices of those we hold so dear. These #firstworldproblems pale in comparison to the realities faced by healthcare workers, the under and unemployed, those impacted by homelessness, and on and on.
Yet, even in the midst of all this upheaval and unknown, the rhythms of life and living carry on. School children continue to learn their colors, multiplication and US history. The economic engine still drives many folks to their jobs. Thanks to the tireless efforts of many, Sunday mornings are still full of beautiful worship opportunities. The glory and grace of the empty tomb still awaits us this Easter Sunday!
As the actions of those ancient women reveal, even in the most confusing and chaotic of times, the meaningful rhythms of life carry on, and new rhythms reveal themselves.
The eyes are the window to the soul. -possibly Cicero
Our journey through Lent has been marked by milestone moments inspired by Jill Duffield's Lent in Plain Sight, reflecting on the meaning that can be contained in the likes of ordinary elements like oil and stone. Many have found more time to appreciate another ordinary item during this season of social distancing, the window. Peering out envisioning tiny microbes that control so much of daily life. Thankful for the light it lets into our living spaces and its ability to keep the hail at bay. At one and the same time, a barricade to the freedoms we hold so dear and a protection from the things we fear.
I have always appreciated windows. The way they amplify the sun's warm rays on a cold day. The stories and world they reveal on a long road trip. The invitation to see into another world, and let that world get a glimpse of us.
In peering through the window a little more these past days, I am reminded of a window that holds so much meaning for me. The place where I truly met Christ. A hospital window. A moment of despair. The place where I peered longingly, hoping to make sense of the world. The place where Christ was looking in on me. The place where our eyes truly met for the first time; and I knew love. The love of God revealed in Jesus Christ for all of God's amazingly broken and beautiful people, including me. What do you see through your windows? What do you let the world see? What do you let God see?
"Why do you look for the living among the dead?" -Luke 24:5b
A concise, if not, confusing question, but one that reveals the truth of God's ongoing creative work. A stone rolled away and a window into God's true being. Seeking to care for their deceased friend, the women discover not death, but life. We anxious voyeurs catch a glimpse of God's truth; where we expect death, God creates life. To the places we bring our sadness and despair, God offers joy and hope. When the powers of the world work to choke out life, God breathes new breath.
Yes, friends, we have faced challenging days, and there are still more to come. Yet, in the midst of the chaos, life-giving rhythms will continue. The spring days will grow longer, and the sun will shine through our windows, bringing light into the places we dwell. Easter morning will triumphantly reveal, yet again, that we are loved and redeemed by the God who brings light and life. We will declare once again, "He is risen! He is risen, indeed!"