Good Friday/Easter Excerpt & Video
THE CHURCH IS NOT IN THE OPTIMISM BUSINESS, BUT LIVES FROM THE SECRET
Optimism says, “Something good will come out of this experience.” Hope says, “In the midst of this hell God will act.” In the midst of this present hell of death God’s future will bring the fullness of life. Optimism is positivity; hope is trust. The church is not in the business of optimism; that is not its function (though the powerful in society may want it to be so). Optimism is for Hallmark, not for a com- munity that worships a crucified God. When optimism is the church’s business then we allow it to screen us from seeing reality. The church is not in the business of optimism and positivity but of trust in a new reality that will be born within this broken one.
And it is a secret because it is an altogether different reality that we hope for. Optimism needs no secret, because it is looking for the silver lining in the present of this reality. Optimism speaks incessantly, fearing that if it stops framing this reality in a positive manner it will be annihilated by the nothingness all around us. But hope is a secret that calls for silence, contemplation, and deep reflection. Hope bubbles up from deep within our being that is so close to nothingness, making its way to our lips in fear and trembling. We find ourselves choking on the wonder of its possibility; we find that contemplating it forces us to speak lower; because we are hoping in an altogether different reality, in the dawn of God’s future, where death is not optimistically given face paints and cotton candy to hold, but is obliterated in the fullness of life in God’s Love. Hope is a secret because it is trust in a wholly new reality, not just this reality shined with the spit of optimistic positivity.
The cross is the overcoming of God with death; death has itself destroyed the Trinity. But the Trinity is the source of life, and death has done the audacious, it has sought to overcome life itself, to overcome with nonbeing the One who speaks being out of nothing for the sake of Love. So from this broken reality, from the death of the Trinity, God in Godself brings life and an altogether new—call it resurrected—reality. God in Godself has been resurrected. The Son is alive, the Father is given back his lost Son, and the Spirit is now thrust into the world, for from the Love of the Father and Son that has gone through death the Spirit looks to draw all death into the life of God so that death might be broken, and we and creation might be made new.
Easter is the proclamation in this world of death that the altogether new reality of God’s future has dawned.That God in Godself has been resurrected and overcomes death and now promises us that our deaths will die, that a new future beyond death is opened to us. It is a hope made possible by entering death, by entering and overcoming death with life—forevermore in Godself and soon to be for us too.
And this then is our ultimate hope, hope that comes through death. We hope as we trust that all our suffering, yearning, and brokenness has been taken by the Spirit and placed between the Love of the Father for the Son, a Love that is stronger than death by going through death. All those who despair can, in the power of the Spirit, take hope, for they are enveloped in the Love of Father and Son. Through their despair God is coming to them; in their despair God gives God’s very person so that an altogether new reality might dawn from the future.
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