The Day God is Dead

Holy Saturday.
2048px-Vittore_Carpaccio_-_Preparation_of_Christ's_Tomb_-_Google_Art_Project
The day God is dead.
The day we lose God Himself.
Don’t miss this.  Don’t rush through it.  On the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, God is dead.
Belgium
One part of the Trinity, yes, but God nonetheless.
The Word of God is gone.  We can no longer hear Him.
Linger in this day.  Does the earth feel different?  Somehow vacant?
Elmendorf
There is, for this day, no possible way to reach God.
And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
No Most Holy Place where the high priest could meet with God.
It is finished.
He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
No Word of God in whom we can see the Father.
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Garden Tomb Side
Remain in this day as long as you can.  I don’t understand how, but somehow this day exists on which we are completely isolated from God.
Breathe in the horror of this day.  God is dead.  He is, for this day, unattainable.  Can you catch even a glimpse?
The disciples did.  They lived it for what must have felt like an eternity.
We’d rather skip past this day, this Saturday that contains Christ’s body in the tomb.  Yet we must linger if we are to grasp the power of Easter Sunday.  We must dwell here awhile if we are to be allowed to hold the joy of Easter Sunday.
When the Son, the Word of the Father is dead, then no one can see God, hear of Him or attain Him.  And this day exists, when the Son is dead, and the Father, accordingly, inaccessible. ~ Hans Urs Von Balthasar (theologian and author)
Can you feel the terror of it?  Do you sense the incomprehensible void that stretches before us on this day?  What does it even mean?
Do not rush too quickly past this Holy Saturday on your way to the miracle.  You may miss the deepest part of the gratitude and joy that are to come.
Garden Tomb
The deepest gratitude and joy that come only when you understand what was absent, and understand that it was only for a day.

 

Art credits: Preparation of Christ’s Tomb by Vittore Carpaccio; Tomb of knight Philip Keerman in Flanders, Belgium; 1912 photograph of Jerusalem Garden Tomb by Dwight Lathrop Elmendorf; Side view of Garden Tomb by Deror Avi; Jerusalem Garden Tomb by Berthold Werner

Are You Going Home for Christmas?

Are you going home for Christmas?
Christmas Tree
It is, perhaps, a time of year when we most think about home.  Many of us think back to a particular place, a place where we were given gifts of peace and compassion, grace and love.  We think of those people, or perhaps one person in particular, who gave those gifts to us.  Those who were not given such gifts had at least, perhaps, the dream of such a home.
Christmas Home
We try, in our own ways, to create that sort of a home in our adult lives, yet it is difficult sometimes to believe that such a home can exist in this world, this world that makes it hard to believe in much of anything at times.
In every home, however, no matter how full of beauty and love, there is something missing.  Something small but crucial.  Perhaps we can’t fully describe what that something is, but we search for it and long for it our entire lives.  It is something that gives us a sad and lost feeling, something that makes us feel a bit homeless wherever we happen to be.
Snowy Street
This small but crucial missing piece is what the author of Hebrews talks about at the end of that great chapter detailing those who lived by faith.  After naming some of the greatest heroes and heroines of our faith, the author writes,
These all died in faith, not having received what was promised, but having seen it and greeted it from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.  For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.
And so home is, after all, only where Christ is.  Home is at the manger where even the oxen kneel at midnight.  Home is at the foot of the cross and at the door to the empty tomb.  Home is the place we will find when we finally know even as we are fully known.
Home at the manger
I believe that…the home we long for and belong to is finally where Christ is.  I believe that home is Christ’s kingdom, which exists both within us and among us as we wend our prodigal ways through the world in search of it. ~ Frederick Buechner
Home with Christ
Are you going home for Christmas?

Home

Don’t Do This Alone

If you sometimes feel that to deny yourself and pick up your cross Every Single Day seems a bit daunting and lonely, then join me over at Embracing Grace today.  Maybe we can help each other to not feel quite so alone as we carry our cross along with Christ.
Helping Each Other
 http://embracinggrace.net/2013/08/dont-do-this-alone/

Tired

The mother of a newborn child with
Shadowed and heavy eyes
Struggles to do the next thing.
 IMG_6081 - Copy
IMG_6194 - Copy

 

The soldier on his third tour with
Gear and pack and weapons
Gets up from his foxhole one more time.
Charles_Rochussen_-_Franse_troepen_trekken_over_een_bevroren_rivier
Ìèíîìåò÷èêè

 

The husband of a cancer-ridden wife with
Small child needing his love
Sits and weeps for lack of strength.
IMG_3144 - Copy
Mike and Ethan on slide

 

The Christ carrying the cross with
Sins of the world on His back
Stops and looks into their eyes.
cross
 Rembrandt_The_Three_Crosses_1653

 

They are tired.

 hand holding bird

He carries them all.

 

art credits: French Troops Cross a Frozen River by Charles Rochussen; Mortar Men photo by Ustinov; cross photo by Asta Rastauskiene; Three Crosses sketch by Rembrandt; bird photo by SP Veres

Beyond

Beyond the pain

Beyond the shame

Beyond the love

Beyond the joy

There is Christ.




Beyond the hurt

Beyond the dirt

Beyond the beauty

Beyond the light

There is Christ.




Beyond life

Beyond death

Beyond this world

Beyond the next

There is Christ.




If all were taken away,

If beauty were turned into grey,

Beyond all that I am and all that I have,

There is Christ.

Art credits: photo of Christ statue by Asta Rastauskiene; Christ in the House of Martha and Mary by Johannes Vermeer; picture of heaven by Miguel Meki; Christ Healing the Blind Man by Eustache Le Sueur; mosaic in the Rosary Basilica in Lourdes