Lenten Reflection–Just the End of the Beginning

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“What God began, God will not abandon. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. God loves everyone, sings the psalmist. What God has named will live forever, Alleluia!

The happy ending has never been easy to believe in. After the Crucifixion the defeated little band of disciples had no hope, no expectation of Resurrection. Everything they believed in had died on the cross with Jesus. The world was right, and they had been wrong. Even when the women told the disciples that Jesus had left the stone-sealed tomb, the disciples found it nearly impossible to believe that it was not all over.
The truth was, it was just beginning.”
Madeleine L’Engle

The Saturday between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday always feels like a “already but not yet” kind of day, as if we are between sleep and waking, in weary vigil.  We aren’t celebrating “happily ever after” quite yet.  Actually every day should feel like this day, as that is where we live: we know the extent of sacrifice made, the overwhelming debt paid, but the full completion of His new covenant, His new kingdom is yet to be realized.   We wait, and will wait some more, unsure what comes next.

But one thing is clear.  Burial in the tomb was not the end.  Not even close.

To borrow from Winston Churchill out of context:

“Now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

David Phelps’ The End of the Beginning