Easter, 2017 (3)
Apr 30, 2017
Easter, 2017 (3)
Joseph took the body
Wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
And placed it in his own new tomb
That he had cut out of rock.
He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance
And went away.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
Were sitting there opposite the tomb.
This is the time of waiting; a time of pause that occurs in all our lives when we reach the bottom of life. The resurrection is not possible without this pause, where everything seems desolate and blank and all is lost. The Apostles’ Creed puts it this way: “He descended into Hell”. I will not get into the theological arguments about what happened to Jesus during that time of waiting until Sunday morning, but I want to look at how this is the model for our life of growth into the spirit.
There was a pause between that defining moment of death and the resurrection. And so it is in our life. We reach a bottom, where life finds us standing above a bottomless pit, where we have no relief from the pain that we face, that we too are suspended in time and space. We hurt so badly that we don’t know how we stand it, but life just keeps going in a relentless manner. Minutes slip into hours, and hours slip into days. Still the pain (“Hell”) just keeps going. We wonder how we can stand before it, and sometimes we can’t and we break, but usually somehow we keep on going in some fashion.
These moments are a teaching time for us. It is only during these extreme moments when we can no longer stand on our own feet that we can transform our lives. We in America have an especially difficult time in doing this, for we are taught from the cradle on that we are independent and strong, and we can do it ourselves! It is only at the extreme edges when we can fully see that we cannot do it ourselves, that the possibility of letting our higher power or God into our being that we can face that moment of metanoia in our life.
These moments of hell are a blessing in disguise. We would not wish them on our worst enemy, but they are the only way to gain the entrance into that “Kingdom of God that lies within”. Only through pain can we move into the paradise that lies within and without. Pain, emotional pain, (even if there is physical pain) is the key that unlocks that gate and buries our ego to permit the rising of Who We Really Are. It is during these times of vulnerability that the Infinite is available to us, that seeks us, that offers us a path to safety and comfort.
These are the moments when we can truly surrender ourselves into the care of our God. these are the moments where only by surrender can we find solace. These are the moments of grace that can lift us to the heavens of peace.
Somehow God is part of the universe of growth out of pain. The universe was borne out of an explosion so intense there was no light – only energy. The energy level was so intense that atoms could not form, and only shockwaves of impact was present. It took several hundred thousand years for light to form, as the universe expanded and cooled the motion of the quanta slowed so that light was formed – we call it the microwave background radiation, not visible light, but moving energy particles. Then stars were formed out of hydrogen, creating one star which burnt for many billions of years in our vicinity. That star exploded in violence, but it left a vast quantity of carbon and other complex molecules that had formed in the pressure and heat of the star. These molecules formed our star, the sun, and balls of residue circling the sun called planets. Out of the violence of that coming together, our planet seethed and foamed, and somehow the carbon-base molecules formed life and eventually brought oxygen forth, leading to our existence today. Life sprang out of violence and death, and that has been the case all the 4+ billion years of our planet. Out of violence and death springs life, and it seems that is what and who we are in this world of physicality. Even growth in our short span of life flows out of pain and internal violence; the birth of a baby is in pain and disruption of order. Pain and violence are the pathway to growth and freedom, for it is only through the darkness of pain can we grow to see the wonder of the path and become free to find that kingdom of God within.
We cannot understand this road, but all of life finds love that flows out of the birth pain of growth. It is only through pain do we find true freedom, that freedom that can come from only God Itself. Pain and death are a part of God’s way, the only path to freedom that is present.
We find ourselves in the only hell we can know, and it is through hell that we find the freedom of God. Through our death to the ego that kingdom that lies within has a chance to spring free and be who we really are. Our seed (ego) must die, so that we can blossom and join our creator in joy and happiness.
And so we wait for that resurrection.
Beloved Mystery, we wait for that resurrection that will lift us from the hell we find ourselves in when the world seems so dark. We pass through the dark night of the soul in our life to find the glowing dawn just over the horizon. I know, even though I cannot see it, that Your love is the only thing that keeps me from deep despair and overwhelming pain. I operate on faith alone, sure that the platform of love supports me even in this dark night. I lay myself down, and surrender to you, as I have no choice but to let my self-importance float away. Help me my God, I ask of You, and I wait for Your answer in this dark night with no light to be seen.
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