One of the joys of following the church calendar, if that’s the tradition you follow, is that the community makes room for all kinds of seasons. There’s a time for fun, and a time for seriousness; a time for Lent and a time for Easter.
One of the joys of having no pre-set calendar for those seasons, if that’s the kind of church tradition you’re familiar with, is that you can go into those different seasons whenever it suits your community.
You could say that Lent won’t be ending anytime soon, for many people around the world.
There’s a famous sermon with the refrain, ‘It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!’ It may be that many of us will be sticking with a Friday feeling for longer this year, staying in our houses, conscious of every cough, worrying, grieving, and waiting, as Jesus’ friends did over the first Easter Friday and Saturday.
And while their Sunday came swiftly, in the grand scheme of things, we have also lived, in the following two thousand years, in this ‘now and not yet‘ world, where we know that the power of Sunday is at work in the world, but that there’s still a long way to go before pain and suffering are behind us entirely.
Jesus never promised that his followers – even after Sunday – would live delightful, carefree lives of rainbows and unicorns. He told them there was suffering ahead. The difference would be that he would send a Helper, the Holy Spirit, to form a forever connection between them and him, so they wouldn’t ever be alone in their hardships.
And so here we are, in the last official week or two of Lent, if you’re a church calendar type (there are two different dates for Easter, depending on your tradition). And if Lent isn’t part of your life in a calendar sense, it turns out you’re right here, too, in a season of loss and apprehension caused by a global pandemic that is disrupting the lives of close to 100% of human beings.
Maybe this is your normal situation. Maybe you’re one of the two billion people whose housing is so inadequate that you don’t even have safe water to drink. Maybe you’re in the grips of depression, anxiety, disability, or chronic illness, and you were here long before a bunch of other people showed up. Maybe there’s violence, fear, war, or hunger that defines your days more than a pandemic or the Paschal season could right now.
However you got here, welcome, friends. We are all here, now.
It’s Friday for everyone.
More coming soon.
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