As we are in the holy week, I was reflecting on the connection between the incidents of the holy week and our world today. We normally speak of passion and resurrection. I would like to identify three moments in this big story and each could be identified by one or more biblical images.
Moment 1 (moment of deep struggle): Jesus experienced terrible suffering, pain and agony in those moments of passion. One of the best expressions of this fear and anguish in seen in the garden of Gethsemane, where he was sweating blood. A man, who was always with his friends, had no friends with him. He might have experienced terrible aloofness, especially in the midst of a hostile crowd.
Moment 2 (moment of mystery — trust in the midst of all struggles): Two expressions of Jesus can be a good summary of this second moment. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus says “not my will, but yours be done”. When this verse is a beautiful expression of the trust, faith and obedience of Jesus, I found a much more powerful expression, which is much more humanly connectable. Jesus cries, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? In one sense, it expresses a disbelief for many believers, how Jesus could say something like this? But it is taken from Psalm 22, which is considered a lament Psalm. (Laments are cries from the people asking for Gods intervention, which expresses two realities …. the hopeless situation they are living and their hope/trust in God). Thus the saying from the mouth of Jesus could be considered as deepest expression of his innermost struggles and deep trust. Really a paradox and an expression, which expressed the mystery of the situation.
Moment 3 (moment of joy, peace and harmony): The first and second moment led to the third moment, which is the resurrection, which is characterized by peace and joy. By the salvation, we are made into a new creation. There is harmony between heaven and earth. I surely feel it is difficult to express or understand the complete fruits or the newness brought out by resurrection. People experience it to different degrees.
Now when we look into these times of Covid-19, we may also sense 3 moments.
Moment 1: It is the time of anguish, pain and suffering for different kinds of people. Different people experiences fear in different ways. Poor is worried of food at the table; migrant workers and many youngsters are worried about their employment. Parents are worried of how to keep the children or youngsters inside. People who are sick are worried of treatment. Elderly may be worried of loneliness. There is a collective anguish and suffering, which cant be denied.
Moment 2 : Even in the midst of all these, many people act as signs of hope. They are the psalm incarnate…. incarnation of the psalm, “my God, my God why have you forsaken me.” Whether we are believers or not, we can together stand in hope and faith towards a wonderful tomorrow, despite all the fears of today. Definitely it is not just standing in hope, but affirming that hope by various actions that are possible for each of us.
Moment 3 : Yes that is the moment of resurrection. First moment is definitely happening to all of us. Whether second moment can become a reality for all, depends on each of us. Without the first two moments, a third moment called resurrection or a new creation is not possible. (Else we will continue to live as another tragedy has just struck us and we are back to normal). What would be this new creation? That is for us to discover and create, with our partnership with each other and the entire creation (I surely believe God is present there). It may bring harmony in many directions, humans and creation, rich and poor and many more….
The fruits of resurrection happened because of Jesus’ faith and trust in the midst of his passion, and he conquered sin by love. The fruits of the new creation, in and through COVID-19, depends on our hope and actions of hope for a better tomorrow. It depends on our changed mindsets (to what…. each can or should discover for himself/herself) and we can collectively await the moment of new creation (which may not be a one day event, but a journey into a new horizon).