With the arrival of Good Friday and Easter, we wrap up this year’s Lenten series on looking to Christ’s example of humility as the standard for our life together in community. In a world in which our relationships together have become endangered by the darkness of arrogance, self-righteousness, greed, hypocrisy, bitterness, unforgiveness and revenge, Jesus steps onto the human stage as the self-identified Light of the World: “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life,” He says (John 8:12).
Yes, the struggle between the darkness and the Light. And at the cross of Good Friday, it appeared for a while that the darkness had won. But then came the empty tomb of Easter morning.
With that in mind, the Gospel of John opens: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5 NRSV)
As Pope Francis said in his Palm Sunday tweet, “What is most amazing about the Lord and his Passover? It is the fact that he achieves glory through humiliation. He triumphs by accepting suffering and death, things that we, in our quest for admiration and success, would rather avoid.”
And to that same mindset we, too, are called, entrusting our wellbeing to our Heavenly Father, just as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, as He anticipated the cross, and prayed, “Not my will, but Thine be done” (last week’s column).
Thus, in that same passage of Scripture that calls us to embrace the mindset of Christ’s humility, we read: “Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11 NRSV)
One of my favourite Psalms addresses this very issue of patient, humble waiting on our Heavenly Father for vindication when darkness seems to be winning the battle:
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday. Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” (Psalm 37:5-7 NRSV)
May the dawn of a new day that first Easter morning fill you with Light, Love, Joy and Hope.
© 2021 Warren Harbeck