It all began with a triumphal procession, shouts of joy and praise. As the week wore on, expressions would darken and the cries of “Save us!” would turn to rants of “Kill him!”
For His closest followers the week would be an emotional roller coaster unlike anything they had, or ever would again, experience. They were part of a chosen group, come to claim power at last for their people. By week’s end they were denying their Christ, and hiding their faces in the shadows.
They saw God die.
With their own eyes.
And then they buried Him, along with all their hopes.
Nothing made sense for His closest chosen. Betrayal and fear hung thick in the air. What questions did they whisper to God in the dark? What looks of utter confusion did they exchange on that most horrible of days? How could any of it make sense?
They forgot about the promised Sunday.
How easy it is to forget. Oh, how I so quickly forget. Sometimes it feels like we are living one long, dark, and confusing Saturday. A very young man in our homeless ministry is terminally ill. He will die after a childhood of substance abuse because he was abandoned on the streets. A woman involved in one of our programs has left to find work elsewhere, and in all likelihood she will fall once again into the evils of prostitution and exploitation.
The darkness presses in, and we wonder why. Why are we here? Can we do anything? Was it all for nothing? Is there a way through the darkness?
But Sunday is coming.
And I forget, but I know. I know it is coming. Nothing is too far, too gone, too lost. The dark questions, the “God no!” that is whispered in the night is the reality of the Saturdays that we live, that all of us live in this world. We raise white knuckled fists to heaven because we do not know how we will make it through, we do not know how God will make a way. We do not understand how we can possibly bear the crosses that are given to us, and we cry and we hope and we press on, and sometimes we just want to give up.
But Sunday is coming.
May we not forget this week, as we move through the traditions, as we remember the passion, and as we reflect on the sanctity of what is holy and true…that although we may live in Saturday, the story does not end there. The story does not end in a spiral of misery, and there may be pain, and there will be questions. But there will be victory, and there will be glory, and there will be a life without end filled with joy and praise. Our struggles will not be wasted, our hopes will not be dashed. And one sweet day, we will see the sun streaming through the clouds.
Because Sunday is coming.