And they waited. And we waited. And we are rewarded. We are rewarded by a love that conquers our fears, a love that achieves our hopes, a love given to us by His grace because we believe.
Our patience was/is much less than the patience of Christ’s followers. We know what we are waiting for, Christ’s followers did not, and yet we struggle to wait through the 40 days of Lent.
Christ’s followers had waited since the days of Adam, Abraham, Noah and Moses. We do not have to wait at all, since Christ’s redemption has already been given to us. Our only waiting actually comes in our searching, in our unbelief, or lack of belief, in what Christ’s death and resurrection means to us as Christians.
We have been given a love to conquer our fear the moment we were baptized. And if we accept and live in His grace we may share in His resurrection. Just as fire and water our newly blessed through scripture at the Easter vigil so we are renewed through living and walking with Christ when we reflect His light in our lives and pour out our self in service to each other, just as He did in His own life for us.
“Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.” Col 3:1-4
So what is a Love greater than fear?
It is a love that brings someone back to me when I need forgiveness for harsh words, judgmental actions, or unkind deeds.
It is a love that allows me to give my time to care for a sick friend, to stop to say an encouraging word to someone struggling with the loss of a loved one or to stay committed to a spouse who misunderstands or treats me without respect.
It is a love that replaces my fear of loneliness, my fear of suffering, my fear of sickness, my fear of loss, with hope, peace and comfort.
In each of these instances it is the images of the suffering Christ and the risen Christ which gives me the encouragement, the comfort, the hope, and the strength to keep moving forward.
It is the image of Jesus unselfishly hanging on the cross that is my reminder that I am supposed to sacrifice my own needs, my own time, my own wants to serve others. His walk to the cross is my reminder that “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”’ Mat 16:24
And it is the next image of Him, resurrected from the tomb, that turns my fears of not having enough time or money–of earthly things; or my impatient fears of being hurt and bearing more than my “fair” share—into the energy, peace and comfort to unselfishly accept my burdens and continue to move towards His glorious, resurrected, all encompassing, LOVE.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. He is Risen!