Holy Saturday: Between Despair and Hope

excuse the inconvenienceToday is Holy Saturday, a space between despair and hope, between death and resurrection.

This in-between time is an analogy for where we are as a species at this critical time in the history of life on earth.  Will we preserve and pass on the wealth of nature and culture to future generations, or will they inherit a wasteland?  This is the primary spiritual issue of our time.

I know from personal experience how the power of God, at work in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, transforms hearts and lives.  But for those of us who see the earth dying and hear the cries of suffering humanity, personal transformation is not enough. We long for major social change, change that shakes the foundations and turns the world upside down. We long for a new community, for the “upside down kingdom” that Jesus initiated, where the hungry will be fed, the naked clothed, the oppressed set free, and slaves released. We hear the groans of the earth, and we ourselves groan inwardly, in labor for the day when the whole creation is set free from bondage (Rom. 8:21). We long for the transformation of the world.

I am a follower of Christ.  With Paul I can say, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:19b-20).

I am also a member of the human race and of the wider community of life.  I share in the suffering of my fellow creatures.  I share in the “passion” of the earth.

The fact is, we really don’t know how this human journey on earth will turn out.  According to theologian Jurgen Moltmann, we cannot know:  “Will humanity survive the crises we have described? We cannot know, and we must not know. If we knew that humanity is not going to survive, we should not do anything more for our children but would say, `after us, the deluge.’ If we knew that humanity is going to survive, we should not do anything either, and by doing nothing we should miss our chance for conversion. Because we cannot know whether humanity is going to survive or not, we have to act today as if the future of the whole of humankind were dependent on us—and yet at the same time trust wholly that God is faithful to his creation and will not let it go.”

On this Holy Saturday,  I choose to live in hope, entrusting myself, my loved ones, and future generations to the God who raised Jesus and who lives in me.  I choose to rest in the silence and stillness and spaciousness of God.

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