Holy Week, April 11, 2020

A Message from: Larry Beasley

 

Friends in Christ:

I’ve often wondered what went through the minds and hearts of the twelve apostles in that time between the crucifixion and the resurrection. It must have been a dark, awful time for them; everything they’d worked for, the amazing things they’d seen and done were all gone. That astonishing person who’d transformed them from the motley group of miscreants and misfits into a company with an identity and a purpose ripped from their presence. Who are we now? What will become of us? While Jesus lay in the tomb, they, too, had a tomb experience.

Our scriptures are full of stories of individuals that had a tomb experience: Joseph in the cistern; David in the cave of Adullam; Paul, with the scales having blinded him . . . but in each and every case, as awful as it was, the tomb wasn’t the end of the story. It was what came after the tomb that mattered.

In his book “When God Interrupts,” Craig Barnes observed:

“As I have accompanied my parishioners into the discovery of what it means that Jesus is their Savior, I have observed that they always experience the light of hope at the point where they succumb to their darkest fear. Jesus puts it better when he said: ‘Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.’ (Luke 9:24). It is impossible to follow Jesus and not be led away from something. That journey away from the former places and towards the new place is what converts us.”

Surely we have been interrupted. We shelter in place in our individual “tombs,” but they are not the end of the story. Our darkest fears are at the edge of the light of hope. Just as surely we are being led away from where we have been and led to a new place.

It has been thrilling in this time to watch us all adapt, to dare, to try new things and fail at them, to laugh, to learn, to work to stay connected in new and unusual ways, to continue to serve each other and those in our communities, to demonstrate that, even in the tomb, love is stronger than death.

We may not yet know what we shall find when we emerge. But we can be confident that it is the tomb experience and the journey out of it that converts us from the people we were to the people we are now called to be.

We know the tomb is coming, but await it with words in our hearts and on our tongues, ready to be spoken: “Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen Indeed!”

May the Holy Spirit be abundantly present to you all in the Easter season.

Larry Beasley
Presbytery Leader and Stated Clerk

April, 2020