Slowed Time: Resurrection!
Resurrection Life: Easter 2022
Rob Gieselmann, April 17, 2022
1. I think I’ve mentioned this before - Time moves faster at the top of a mountain than it does in the valley below. Your watch ticks faster above. It’s true. Physics - the Theory of Relativity.
*Yesterday, I took a jog out Quigley in Hailey with my two dogs. Quigley is a valley, set east to west, between two solid mountains. A dirt road runs along the left side of the valley, and just a bit higher, running along the mountain itself, is a trail.
I usually jog or hike on the trail - I prefer trails to road - but yesterday it was snowing, and I didn’t want to lose my footing on the rocks I couldn’t see.
Snow covered the road, also, and the entire valley and hillsides. On at typical day, I would pass other people in Quigley, but not yesterday. I found myself alone -
Alone with the silence - you know the silence of fresh snow - only not absolute silence - not yesterday. For I could hear larks, awakened by spring, returned from migration.
These larks called to one another - on either side of me - stereophonic - both silence and song.
So, there I was, in the valley, and not on the mountaintop, and I could feel it -
Time - it slowed -
Don’t get me wrong - I was still jogging, one foot in front of the other - still the same pace - but it was as though time became suspended.
Snow and silence, larks and song, which is it? Winter or is it spring?
2. Yesterday was, of course, Holy Saturday, that incongruent day that falls precipitously between winter and spring, Death and Life, between despair and hope. Holy Saturday - Is Jesus dead, or is he alive?
His body was lying cold in the tomb. And the women who loved Jesus so deeply were at home, biding their time - because it was the Sabbath. You aren’t allowed to do anything on Saturday, in the ancient Jewish tradition.
And what a day to do nothing. The one you love has died, and you are left nothing to occupy your time.
You’re stuck: Stuck, between winter and spring. Time has slowed, and you aren’t sure which direction to take.
3. Then … All the land was asleep - the people of Jerusalem, to be sure, but the sheep and birds and snakes and ferrets and mice and squirrels and even the larks -
All asleep, that is, until a rumble was felt - an earthquake maybe - that very moment when death could no longer hold life, light exploded through the darkness - thrusting the tomb open, and the entire landscape came alive. The birds and snakes and ferrets and mice and squirrels and larks. Only the people remained alseep.
Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!
4. It was not until the next morning when the women, still bereft - no men came with them - brought their embalming spices to the tomb did any human being come to realize Jesus was alive!
Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!
He is alive!
5. Maybe you remember this story: Jesus was walking along with the crowds pressing in on him - pushing and shoving and violating every bit of personal space Jesus might have had. When all of a sudden, he felt something, a power drain.
He stopped, looked around, and demanded to know, Who touched me?
What do you mean, Who touched me? Look at all these people, they all touched you.
No, I mean, Who touched me?
Only one person present knew the answer, and that was the woman herself.
This woman had suffered for eighteen long years - and in a hope against hope - she’d approached this man she’d heard strange tales about, stories of healing and miracles. If I just touch the hem of his garment, she told herself - so she squeezed herself between other people - other people who wanted power of Jesus not because they needed healing, but because they wanted power -
She reached out in her need - and touched just the little square of fabric -
Who touched me?
6. And I cannot help but wonder, what is it you and I are seeking?
World peace, to be sure - peace in Ukraine and the defeat of Russia?
The end of Covid, or perhaps for Republican and Democrat to sit peacefully together. Of course.
But what of the soul? Your soul, my soul?
Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
6. What I know is this: In the end, the tomb burst open so that those of us living on Saturday might experience the explosion of light on Sunday.
That - you and I - like the woman with the hemmorage might suffer not one minute longer.
In the soul. Your heart. My heart.
Easter resurrection is proof - God loves you.
God loves me.
And will not leave us alone.
At the grave, or in this life.
Alleluia, the Lord is Risen.