Saturday Comes Before Sunday

Holy Saturday is a time of waiting.  We are in that in-between time when everything actually is happening and yet everything feels so still and stopped.  We wait, like a child waiting for any big day, unsure if it will ever get here.

Richard Rohr said, “One cannot just jump from Friday to Sunday in this case, there must be Saturday!”  On this day of the Jewish Sabbath, even the dead body of Jesus rests, waiting for God to do whatever God plans to do.

Waiting is an act of faith and submission, mixed with the authentic hope.  We do not wait and hope with a “namby pamby” faith that recites a weak mantra that “It will be ok.”  We wait with an assured hope God knows what to do with a life offered in love for the sake of others.

This means we may find new meaning in an unexpected way of place, different than what we wanted.  Yet, we wait with a courageous hope, trusting God is up to something creative and redemptive again.  We wait with our ears peeled ready to hear those ancient words, “God saw everything God had made, and indeed, it was very good.”

Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Lingering a Little Longer in Holy Week

Some words needs no improvement.  Instead, the rest of us should just shine the light of Christ on them so they may live.

Richard Rohr is such person whom few could improve on his inspiring words.  His writings speak of the Christian way in the midst of suffering; reminding us of the dark side of passion week.  I need to hear words which remind me of the shadows of Good Friday; so I may more resiliently sing the bright sounds of Easter on Resurrection Day.

I feel deeply that much of our expressions of Christ’s way are watered down because of our proclivity to move quickly past the reality of darkness experienced on that Good Friday afternoon.  Rohr’s words, like Rembrandt’s painting, help me stay long enough to ponder what makes our redemption possible; love offered in the midst of awful hate, and light shone into the real darkness.

I share them with those who need them, like I.  They can be read in their entirety in his book Hope Against Darkness, p. 38.

You alone, Lord Jesus, refused to be crucifier, even at the cost of being crucified.  You never play the victim, you never ask for vengeance, but you only breathe forgiveness.  While we, on this fearful earth, murder, mistrust, attack and hate.  Now I see that it is not you that humanity hates; we hate ourselves, but mistakenly kill you.

I must stop crucifying your blessed flesh on this earth and in my brothers and sisters, and in every form of life, whether innocent or guilty, worthy or unworthy.  We are all your blessed Body, and you have always loved me precisely in my unworthiness.  How can I not do the same to others?

Give me courage to practice these Jesus ways to all I encounter on this holy week.

RIVER OF LOVE

Faith trusts the flow of the river of life.  It is always best to stay in the stream.  I believe in the natural current of process, which I don’t have to change, coerce, or improve.

This requires me to exhibit incalculable confidence in God, especially when troubled.  Usually, I am certain I have the ability to make things work.  So, I rush right up into my head trying to change or create the flow of the river.  This is a loss of nerve in God who loves me more than I can know.  Worse, it robs me of any ability to be present with a God who is already at work; flowing the river of life through me.

So, I remind myself on this day God is not an authoritarian who seeks selfish good.  My God is a lover who desires to shape the divine image within me.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, From Everything Belongs

Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 7:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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