Today is not Silent
Over the last four weeks I’ve counseled others through, and grappled myself with, the question of “what is the right thing to do right now?”
The world as we knew it is gone.
Illusions what we thought the next months would be like shattered.
For some of us, the courses of our lives, our families, our friendships forever altered.
We sit, holed up in our homes, agonizing over what to do next. And nothing makes sense.
In his writing On The Epidemics, the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates writes “first do no harm,” a bar that seems inconceivably high as we navigate a world with a virus that can take two weeks to manifest symptoms.
If I deliver food to a relative will I expose them?
Is supporting a local restaurant by ordering take out okay?
If I’m sewing masks but I’m asymptomatic and unknowingly infected am I putting others at risk while trying to help?
Holy Saturday offers no answers, which seems appropriate at the moment.
No one has answers right now, a neatly paved path to the future.
Instead, Jesus descends into hell and begins to yank us out of its harrowing grip. Death is being defeated, but it does not go quietly.
We need not believe in a fiery, torturous afterlife. Sufficient hell exists in the here and now.
Jesus throws wide the gates, but what to do with this new-found freedom is ours to discern.
First, do no harm. Love your neighbor as yourself.
An easy and impossible command.
This day is not silent, the noise is overwhelming.
Questions abound and words fall short.
The unthinkable has happened, Jesus died, and is yet happening again, he is overcoming death itself.
Silence would be easy, maybe even comforting in its own way, but the birthing cry before resurrection, that wills life forward through groans that shame even our most profound words, is good, and it will not be denied.