the story room

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Final Station

Yesterday, as a way to reflect on the events of Good Friday, I meditated on the Stations of the Cross as found at: The readings at each station struck me, but I especially appreciated what the last one said:

"They take the body of Jesus to its resting place. The huge stone over the tomb is the final sign of the permanence of death. In this final act of surrender, who would have imagined this tomb would soon be empty or that Jesus would show himself to his disciples or that they would recognize him in the breaking of bread? Oh, that our hearts might burn within us, as we realize how he had to suffer and die so as to enter into his glory, for us. . . .

". . . I pause to contemplate this act of closure on his life. In solidarity with all humanity, his body is taken to its grave. I stand for a moment outside this tomb. This final journey of his life has shown me the meaning of his gift of himself for me. This tomb represents every tomb I stand before with fear, in defeat, struggling to believe it could ever be empty."

I meditated for a long time yesterday on that image, thinking about the "tombs" I've stood before: the tombs of loved ones who have died, the tombs of broken relationships, the tombs that hold my fears and disappointments and regrets. I sometimes find myself wondering if God really will show up there, bringing his life where death seems to be the final word.

As Holy Saturday quietly slips into Easter morning, I realize that the tomb I stand before tonight - the one that matters more than anything else in the world - is empty. If the one who has power to resurrect is himself alive again - alive tonight - surely he will not ignore the other tombs we visit and weep over as we wait for him to bring life back.

The life-giver lives, and surely he comes, bringing healing and joy to my very life...and even to yours. May we take heart and have hope that he will come and make it all right, however long we have to wait. And may we see the beginnings of it even now, surprised and overjoyed at the life he brings.

May our hearts burn like the disciples', knowing that he's with us.


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