Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Our Empire is Shaking

Devotional for Good Friday

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. 

Death will be no more;

mourning and crying and pain will be no more, 

for the first things have passed away...”

Revelations 21:4 (NRSV) 

A google search for why we call Good Friday “good” reveals a lot of speculation. However, it is easy to imagine that Pontius Pilate and Herod patted themselves on the back and declared the day good. The young up-start from Nazareth was dead and done. The score was Empire: 1 and Nazareth: 0. Admittedly it was strange about the earthquake happening around that time, but not to worry, empires have lots of stone masons. They didn’t know then that Empire was the loser and the crumbling walls would give way to the message of love being carried globally. 

Last year, on this holy day, we couldn’t know that our empire was shaking, and that the scales would fall from our eyes. A virus and a murder exposed our institutional inequities, our history of genocide, and slavery un-resolved. Very few guessed that some folks would enter the heart of our democracy on January 6th while the president spent his time pardoning prisoners, leasing public lands, and approving pesticides. This Good Friday we are definitely standing on the shaking ground of empire—with our eyes open to what we have ignored for hundreds of years. 

And that really is Good Friday news. We are standing in the rubble of our colonialism, our consumerism, and our escapism. We also stand on our tortured, beautiful Earth, hand in hand, heads down. We see. We weep. We wait “for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:4) as the writer of Revelations knew. Empires don’t hold, but the love that is God came and is coming. Eat and sleep well this night. Now that we can see what we haven’t been seeing, we have work to do—together, with the Love of this coming Sunday to guide our efforts. 

Now that we see, lead us, holy Jesus, with your love to do the repairs earth and all that dwell in and upon it requires of us.

Rev. Holly Hallman
(left) and husband Fred Dunlap (right) live on traditional lands belonging to the Port Gamble S’Kallam tribe in the Puget Sound of Washington state. Holly is a retired hospice chaplain who hopes that the earth is not her next patient.

Leaf photo by David Kepley

No comments:

Post a Comment