170414 – Good Friday Reflection

And Then There Was Nothing

And then there was nothing.
No future. No dreams. No Jesus.

How did it come to this?
A few days ago we were waving palms and singing his praises. Maybe we were too loud?
It probably didn’t help that he caused that scene with the money changers. Maybe he went too far?
And when he went toe to toe with the Pharisees on Solomon’s Porch challenging their interpretation of scripture he surely didn’t help his case.
But did he really deserve this?

Was he that offensive to them? Were his words that upsetting? Was his vision of loving God, and others, and one another so threatening that they had to silence him permanently?
Another bitter reminder that Rome doesn’t need much of an excuse to execute another Jew.

And it was awful. It always is. Hanging there until the life drains out of a person. What a terrible way to die.

They made a special effort to mock and ridicule him. Some people get their thrills in really disturbing ways.
He faced it bravely, of course, like you’d expect a man of his faith and character would. Even then he was thinking about other people.

Just before he died he said he was thirsty. How ironic!
All that time sharing his spirit, helping people awaken to God’s Presence, and encouraging people to drink deeply of the living water of God’s love to quench our deepest thirst. All the people who will never thirst again because of him.
And in his darkest moment he too surrendered everything he was to God and thirsted for that Presence that he taught so passionately.
The soldiers misunderstood and gave him some sour wine. One taste was all he needed. As good as he was he couldn’t overcome the sourness of the world.

Then he quietly said, “It is finished.”
He took a breath. And we waited. And there wasn’t another.
And then there was nothing.

It is finished. Finished. Over.
All those years with him.
All those times we hung on every word.
All those days we hoped would last and last because the moment was so beautiful, so glorious, so filled with life.

And then there was nothing.
Finished. Over.
Nothing lasts forever I guess, but we never thought that Jesus would just be gone so quickly.

We had dreams. We’d sit around the fire at night and dream about how things could be the way he described if more people just opened up and received what he was saying.
We dreamed about our leaders not being so hung up on rules and regulations and really starting to hear what Jesus was talking about.
We even dreamed about how it would be if the Romans could wake up too. We met a few who did. So why not all of them? Why not everybody? Why couldn’t the whole world open up their eyes and see that God was all around them and filling them up with light and love with every breath?
It would be like heaven on earth!

And when Jesus talked like that it seemed like it was so obvious that we thought it was going to happen any moment – that the whole world could be transformed and changed.

But it wasn’t.
If Jesus couldn’t make it happen I don’t know who can.

What are we supposed to do now?
How am I supposed to wake up tomorrow and go on?
It’s over. This thing that I’ve given my life to is over.
I just can’t see where to go from here. What am I supposed to do now that a giant block has been put in the road?

Everything I dreamed about is gone.
Everything I counted on is gone.
Everything I thought was going to happen is different now.
I mean, we were just flying, everything was happening for us, it was like we could do no wrong…and then there was nothing.

If Jesus was still here he’d probably tell us to take a deep breath and pray. That was his answer for everything. Pray. Wait. Trust. God is here. Notice.
Well, here we are, on the cusp of the Sabbath, we can’t do anything else anyway, so I guess we might as well pray. And pray. And pray. And pray.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe this is the best thing.
Just be still, and know that God is God, and God is here, and we’re not alone. That’s what he taught us.

Maybe a day spent doing nothing but praying is exactly what Saturday should look like after this day of endings.
Maybe things will look different after a Sabbath day – God’s day.

Jesus always said the end is a chance for a new beginning.
And I will pray with all my might all day tomorrow that he was right.
And I’ll wait. And hope. And notice.

But it’s so hard – because just a moment ago it felt like things were so different – and then there was nothing.
So now I’ll pray, now and all day tomorrow, for…something More.