As I write, it is Good Friday, the year of our Lord, 2018, and tomorrow will be the harrowing of hell and then Sunday will come. Christians will greet each other with, “He is risen,” and receive the response, “He is risen indeed.” We live out the cycles, the rhythm of life laid out in the Church calendar, which is really the recapitulation of all things–the rhythm of existence, reality.
One of the earliest Christian creeds or statements of faith was this very simple series of declarations:
Christ has died; Christ is Risen; Christ will come again.
Simple, yes, but the depth here is astounding. Here, we might say, is all of Christian theology (including the First Testament), philosophy, and the summing up of all things.
Here is past, present, and future. Not just in the sense of the Christian narrative or calendar, but literally: Past, Present, and Future. Or, the eternal now we experience, at whatever moment, as recapitulation, as the moment in time we experience from being part of the parade of life as opposed to the view from above that sees beginning and end as one eternal moment or now.
This is not only about Christ, but about us and creation. Creation has died, is raised, and will be gloried.
We have died, we have been raised, and we will be gloried.
Whatever our past, whatever our present, whatever our future—they will not supersede, surpass, or be counted out of those three statements.
All existence, every atom, every molecule, whatever the deepest part of the ocean, whatever the farthest star, all that have died, all that live, all that will live, will still be accounted for in those three statements. There is not one iota of existence that will not be addressed, in some form or manner, by those three statements.
They are the last Word to the Fall, death, the devil, sin, pain, suffering, evil, and hate. No other Word (action), or words, or statements, or summations, will have the last word, like those words will.
Is this because of totalities, absolutes, or some Hegelian synthesis? No. It’s because when the principalities and powers, the rich, the state, the nation, the religious leaders, the powerful, me, you, us, the people, killed God, what was offered in return was forgiveness, peace, love, and reconciliation.
Such a response shatters all thesis, antithesis, synthesis, and totalities as it does all philosophical abstract formulas and intellectual theorizing. When understood poetically, when seen from within the love conveyed, for those who have ears to hear (crushed hearts), they are true statements. They just are. For others, they become a philosophy for refutation, an argument about physics to win, or something to synthesize. Or, something to ignore. In other words, nothing was heard or seen. Thus, none of what those declarations offer can be true or helpful—none of which, of course, changes anything as to their assertions, or truth.
Whether we stop and admire the rose, take in its perfume and beauty, or walk by completely unaware and indifferent, the rose remains. It just is. Perhaps some think it a weed. When pointed out, to argue an anti-rose somewhere or that many things are pretty and smell good is to miss the point.
A Word in blood, pierced, hung naked on a tree because we would not accept or receive such a love, will have the last word. Not as violence, not as in winning an argument, not as in proving anything, but only as a statement of being, as in, what is. That word:
Christ has died; Chris is risen; Christ will come again.
“…what exactly constitutes healing in the Christian sense is made impossibly complex in light of a Crucified Savior who keeps His wounds after the Resurrection.” ~Michael Altenburger
“Violence cannot tolerate the presence of one who owes it nothing.” ~René Girard
“Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” ~Anne Lamott
“The whole world is the Holy Grail, for it has received into itself and contains Christ’s precious blood and water. The whole world is the chalice of Christ’s blood and water; the whole world partook of them in communion at the hour of Christ’s death. And the whole world hides the blood and water within itself. A drop of Christ’s blood dripped upon Adam’s head redeemed Adam, but also all the blood and water of Christ that flowed forth into the world sanctified the world. The blood and water made the world a place of the presence of Christ’s power, prepared for the world for its future transfiguration, for the meeting with Christ come in glory. . . . The world has become Christ, for it is the holy chalice, the Holy Grail.” ~ Sergius Bulgakov