In Deepest Grief

vigil candles
This morning I woke from a dream… one of our beloved members was experiencing terrible betrayal, anger, sadness. Those are the feelings of many of us these days. We are in the Easter season and expecting to be tasting the joy of 50 days of Alleluias, but we can’t seem to move past the horrors of Good Friday. Again & again… here they are.
We have been holding our breath during the Chauvin trial wondering, “When will justice come for so many families who have lost loved ones to violent/senseless gun deaths?” And then, we cry out in the face of another violent death. This time, it’s Daunte Wright, beloved child of God. Just 20-years old, killed by mistake (?) by a long-time officer. We can’t breathe in the face of constant, systemic injustice. And along with the ugly legacy of white supremacy that we can’t seem to overturn, we’re not out of the pandemic yet (we wish we were) and vaccines are slow to come (you have to stay up to midnight to get an appointment) and there’s snow on the ground. Fear, grief and despair are pervasive.
This week, in the final Revelation & Hope Bible Study this season, we ended describing the vision of Revelation in our time because the book of Revelation was written to those who are suffering, who are experiencing betrayal, death, anger, sadness, but who cling to a vision of God’s presence bringing heaven to earth. “I have always hated the vision of a city of jewels as ‘heaven,'” one person said, “until I realized that this is a vision of abundance for those who have been oppressed.” Yes, and it is not a vision of the city detached from nature. Within the beautiful city that is described in Revelation 22 is the Tree of Life, its roots sinking deep into the river of life, with leaves for healing and all kinds of fruit. This is our vision for our city, for ourselves. God is still creating a new Saint Paul and within it, we stand with/as Christ, the Tree of Life. This is why this image is painted on our front doors, this is why gardens surround our building at 105 University Ave West, right across the street from the Minnesota State Capitol. 
We are pressed down, betrayed, suffering, angry, sad… and we are also sustained by Christ, the Tree of Life, who has risen and who empowers us to rise to face another day, another day of praying and giving our lives to show the love of the Risen Christ. Again & again, LOVE remains and we are love’s body.
Hold on, just a little while longer… hold on, just a little while longer… 
Hold on, just a little while longer… everything’s gonna be alright, everything’s gonna be alright.