Holy Women

The holy women at the tomb of Christ
Annibale Carracci (1560-1609)

Was it women's work to dress the dead body with the spices? Or did they go to do it because it was the first chance to do anything at all that felt the least bit useful - the day before had been the Sabbath - was it that they simply could not wait a moment longer to tend to their Beloved?

It's not yet 4:30 in the morning, and I am the only one at home. The others have gone to church. Only two people in the car for the Easter Vigil this year. Not six, with the little one sitting on a lap. Not five after the uncle went away. Not four after the daughter went away. Not even three this year, because only one son has gone from home, but the mom is not in the car with the dad and the one son who goes with him. This year there's no one in the back seat for the first time. This year I am not there to greet the risen Lord in the garden. It's a bit surreal.

But I think that if I had been there - back then - all those centuries ago, I mean - I think that I would have been there - in the garden. Before it got light. That would have felt surreal too. I and my friend - we would be grim faced and determnined even if a little afraid. How could he be dead? He could not be dead. But ... we had seen him die. We know what has happened. We saw the blood and water flow from His side. We know what happened. He is dead.

Nothing would have stopped us from ministering to him in the only way left to us. We would have gone. "As it began toward the first day of the week," we would have gone there. I wonder ... would we have been remembering and trying to understand? Would we have been looking at each other and neither of us daring to say it? Do you remember when He said, "three days?" Do you think He might have meant ...?

It's 4:30 in the morning. We're about to find out the Truth.

1 comment:

Douglas Bienert said...

I'll be adding your name into the the Great Litany next year. If you are sick next year... I can not handle the Vigil without your vocal leadership. You want surreal, try being at the vigil, my 17th Vigil attending and at least my 12th chanting the litanies, and singing "Holy Mary...." and having the feeblest and faintest to no responses come back to me. I thought to myself, IS THERE ANYONE IN HERE? And I got NO response from on the second part of the litany, not one peep. I had to respond to myself and all I could think of is my mother teasing me when I was a kid "Douglas are you talking to yourself again? Just as long as you don't answerer yourself!" Finally about four or five vesicles in I finally got some response. Not our finest vigil. And not because it was a poor performance. I don't like to think of it as "a performance" anyhow. I was let down because it felt like no one out there was participating. It's the difference between playing tennis against a wall by yourself, and being at Wimbledon with a real opponent and everyone cheering for The Victor.

So, please get well soon. You, apparently, are our 24 Hour Spiritual Fitness trainer yelling at the feeble "Come on people MOVE IT! Just ONE MORE versicle! Lets hear it! Pray for us sinners... PRAY for us sinners!"

Lastly - I just realized I made a sports reference to spirituality and cringed. It reminded me of those horrible Bible Teacher/Coaches that I continually ended up with at Portland Christian. You know, those guys who always related Christianity to football. "God is like a Football"... Um, no - He's not.

PS: Thank David for me. I caught him casting out the Starbucks from the temple. I blame Rolling Hills. The "symbol" on their Easter Ad was of - NOT kidding - a LATTE!

No sir, the Starbucks across the street is NOT affiliated with us. To paraphrase St. Paul rebuking the drunken at the Eucharist - "Do you not have coffee shops to drink in? Do you not realize this is the Lord's Table?"