Wednesday, March 31, 2010
We started the journey with ashes. Here we are now with only a few of those holy days left. Coming to the end of the Lenten journey means going deeper into the darkness that has been looming on the horizon for some time now. It can be no other way. What awaits us in this Lenten season is the gathering where feet were washed, the meal was served, and the betrayer went out into the darkness. What awaits us is the nighttime struggle in the Garden with Satan and the arrest of Jesus. What awaits us is Friday, a day filled with such horror that not even the sun could penetrate the darkness being put upon the earth.
The Lenten journey started so long ago ends with a battered, bloody, dead body being lowered from the cross and a trip to a hole filled with the darkness of the nearing sunset and death. It is at this point that the journey ends. The Lenten journey does not end this Sunday when the trumpets sounds resurrection; instead, it ends as we behold the Savior buried in the ground of the earth. As we stand there at the end of the journey, we start coming to terms with how hopeless and dark life really is when it is emptied of the presence of Jesus.
Sometimes as I hear on Good Friday, "It's Good Friday, but, Easter is coming!" I fear we are doing what we tend to do too easily with the stuff of life that makes us uncomfortable. What we tend to do is race on by without really allowing ourselves to experience a present moment filled with the pain of life. Not thinking about it is a way of not dealing with it. Only as we stay in the darkness of the journey's end do we have any hope of truly experiencing all that the Lenten journey offers to us. The beginning is about ashes. The ending is about the death of a Savior and the darkness where there is no hope.