The microscopic coronavirus has put the whole world on lock down. The scale of death from it will be like a bomb dropped on each country. It is really strange to consider this tiny virus that can be destroyed with soap and water can also kill a person and bring billions of people and commerce to a near halt. A microbe is the source of the weight of uncertainty that buckles our knees. Anyone can get it, anyone can pass it to others.
If you are seeking God’s answers to yet another grief stricken moment in history, you are not alone. All of us are walking to the tomb with Mary in sorrow.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake for an angel of the Lord, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
There are no words for the way that Jesus’ resurrection is described. It is stunning. Which means we doubt and fear and are awe struck all at the same time. The gospel describes this event as seismic in nature, causing the earth to tremor.
Theologians and scholars claim this is not just a description to be noted, it is a claim that unites biology and evolution of our planet and cosmos with God’s plan of salvation. I paraphrase St. Paul who wrote,“…the whole creation has been groaning, hoping to be set free from its decay, waiting for redemption.” (Romans 8)
The truth is we were sick before the attack of COVID19. Religion has been praying for peace and health of our world. Perhaps the tomb is a metaphor we can enter and wait for not only a cure for the virus, but for God to act for redemption in many ways.
We will find a vaccine for the Coronavirus. And we will rediscover confidence to return to social life, commerce will be restored, and life will return as we have arranged it. The question this morning is during this prolonged slowing of life do we want the life we had before?
There are signs of possibility. Smog and pollution is so decreased that the stars are visible again to the human eye in places they have been invisible for a long time. Reminding us that the microscopic affects the cosmic. What is unseen is powerful.
I think of the disciples who are not in the story we heard this morning because they were locked tight behind closed doors. In shock and fear, they stayed inside, never imagining that Jesus would step through that door in new and resurrected splendor and offer them peace.
This morning we are invited to wonder as we celebrate the resurrection in solitude, behind our closed doors, how is God conspiring to bring forth new life, in you and in our society? What good can come from this long grief stricken slowing of our lives?
It is God’s favorite thing to bring new creation from what appears lost, empty, and hopeless. It was in the darkness of the tomb that Jesus rose from the dead. God’s great recreation began in that empty place and altered the course of the cosmos.
Behold that the resurrection is not a onetime event in the past, rather it began a seismic shift. A new eternal future opens for all people and all creation. In Christ everything is made new.
With You on the Journey,