What now? Religion column

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 31, 2018

By Fr.Jonathan J. Filkins 

If we were to step back in time, say two millennia or so, our perspectives of the life of Jesus, and our relationships with Him. would be quite different than what we have today.

While the seasons of the Church give us a constant reminder of His life, death and Resurrection, they are mostly a “rear view mirror” perspective.

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The recounting of the Passion of the Christ comes to us with 20/20 clarity; occasionally clouded by the trappings of our ritual accretions. For the early followers there was no such foreknowledge; no foundation on which to rely.

Good Friday is well known to us later Christians. Christ is betrayed…Christ suffers…Christ dies…Christ is placed in a tomb.

The horrific particulars are readily found in Holy Scripture. Easter Sunday soon follows, with the glorious Resurrection of the Christ, who died for our sins.

Yet, as we continue our spiritual lives, in this knowledge, there are still a few trappings left of those first early followers of Jesus.

In the intervening day, after the Crucifixion which we call Holy Saturday, there was the Great Unknown. Perhaps, we had been the early disciples of Jesus, and had been privy to, or even present, at the gruesome events leading to His death. Now, He was suddenly and is violently gone from us. “What now?” we might then well ask, in our insecure ways.

Of course, we had all been told of future events. It only took some faith in God. Yet, there are so many false messiahs funning around. What if this fellow, who we had been supporting, was not who he said he was? After all, what if the so-called “miracles” were nothing but a slight of hand, some trickery of mass hypnosis.

After all mass- hysteria could have been the fuel for our ardor.

What if Jesus was some sort of a nut, a lunatic, a fakir and master manipulator? Or, what if He truly is the Son of God?

If we, the present generation, are honest with ourselves, this is the lingering question of Faith itself.

In our devotions, the potential for we Christians to waver is quite strong. It is part of who we are.

“What now?” is our modern question too.

The choice is to either believe the former, or the later; either a fraud, or the Truth. Christians, defined by there commitment to the Word of God, will know what the “then” is.

It is an unbending reliance on the Sacrifice of the Son of God, for us.

It is what brings us out of the darkness of the Great Unknown and into the light of everlasting Salvation.

On this Easter Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection of the Christ into Heaven, However, we also know there is much more to come.

Indeed, He returned in His Resurrected form, and was seen by many hundreds.

After His return to Heaven, the Holy Spirit descended upon us. This our 20/20 spiritual worldview.

However, all is not yet done. We know about the coming Judgement and the return of Jesus Christ. “What now?” is the lingering question.

May the Light of Christ shine brightly within all on this glorious Eastertide, and always.