Where can we find Jesus now?


Rev. Bob Chell

I’m captivated by the war. Satellite phones, hi-tech weapons and the internet have given the war a surreal quality. It is immediate yet removed.

I spent last Wednesday picking out a new sofa while others spent the day dying or killing. There are softer words-gentler words-euphemisms which seek to soften the grim reality of war: living or dying, killing or being killed.

As I write this the headlines scream: “Celebrations erupt in Baghdad.” The war is almost over.

Deep in the story mention is made of continuing pockets of resistance. Certainly more will die before the war ends. Who will be the last to die, I wonder? An Iraqi? An American? A pilot? A child? Whose nephew? Whose Mom? Who?

Soldiers die, mothers die, grandparents die, children die. Where is Jesus?

One might be tempted to see God’s hand in the relatively quick ending to this conflict, celebrating Easter and an end to this war, a kind of two for one holiday. Don’t.

It is Holy Week now. The week during which, in Christian tradition, we walk with Jesus. Ritually and symbolically worship becomes our Jerusalem, here we participate in Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection.

We feel joy as Jesus marches to glory on Palm Sunday. We feel solemn as we contemplate the meaning of Christ’s passion. On Thursday gatherings we are reminded of Christ’s command to love one another illustrated by his washing of the disciple’s feet. We return in silence on Friday to lift our prayers for the world as Jesus is lifted up. We leave as we came-in silence, meditating on the mystery of the crucified savior. We gather again on Easter eve, the Easter vigil, to mark the hours, to make passage with Christ from death to life. We celebrate the rising of the Son with the rising of the sun. We celebrate God’s yes to Jesus’ life, to Jesus’ teaching, to Jesus’ servanthood, to Jesus’ kingdom, to Jesus’ crucifixion.

God’s power is most clearly revealed not in the empty tomb but on the cross. God’s power means death is not the end. Rather, death is the door to life. After death, we meet God, not in victory, but where God