“Are we there yet?”Road trip
Entire courses in divinity school, psychology semesters and, of certainty, family trips engage this question. We speak it about coronavirus quarantine. Maybe even in marriages. When will we be at our destination?
This is also Easter’s inquiry and assertion. Is Good Friday the end or the beginning of the journey? Is Easter? When will we get where we long to go, or where God longs for us to be?
Christian theology, based on our Bible, offers a bountiful, blurry response. God in Christ gets us where we are created to be, but not yet where we can and will be. Theologians call this the “very, not-yet” salvation. Glad we cleared that up.
What it means at NHCC is that we have learned a lot in the last year. We have figured out how to teach a bit, worship a bit, support one another a bit, and even look into the future a bit. We mourn some terrible losses this year: family members and beloved. Over half a million strangers. Meanwhile, most of us have the fortune to be safe at home, physically distant, masked, and even blessed enough not only to eat but to share food with others (we’ve made some record donations to food pantries this year).
So we are very well on some levels. But we are not-yet out of this plague and we are not-yet certain how to face the future. What will we still change? What will we always keep? When will we feel safe and when will we be safe?
Easter says that our eternity is safe with God. Easter says that God has triumphed over death. But for a reason: so that in our life we can care for one another and care for creation. This is very, not-yet ministry.
Since last Easter we’ve held that wonderful conversation about being mortal and facing the end of life. We’ve engaged the conversation on Christian Anti-Racism. We’ve held together, so on many levels we are very well. But we are not-yet where God imagines.
So I have a challenge for you—for each of you on email, anyway. This Easter Sunday send the Zoom link to one other person in your arena of friends and family. Invite one person to enjoy our music and our welcome. Then, for the next anti-racism gathering (April 18) or for the next San Juan del Sur fundraiser—the next event that reflects your mission affections—send a link to someone then, too. Don’t keep the light of NHCC under a bushel. We are doing very well. But we are not-yet the body that we may be in Jesus’ way. Your outreach inspires who we are.
For these proclamations and this mission is at the heart of Easter. This season is when we say thank God.