The in-between time

Today is the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Between death and resurrection. Between defeat and victory.

Every year this day resonates with me a bit more. I think perhaps more and more it feels like so much of this life is that in-between time. The already-but-not-yet time.

Yes, this day is about waiting for something spectacular – death to life. But so much of life can feel like the hope part of it. The anticipation. The belief that something will happen. It will be good. You are sure it will happen. But you’re not there yet.

This year feels a lot like we’re in that time. I believe we will recover from this PTSD. I do believe that. But we’re not there yet. The hypersensitive startle reflexes. The dreams. The on-edge feeling. It’s so much better. There will be a time in the future when it will be better. But we’re not there yet.

In the past I would have put a lot of other things into this category.

We know the kids will come home from school, but they’re not here yet.
We have a big holiday coming up, but it’s not here yet.
Just a few more months push to graduation, you’re not quite there yet.

And then all this {waves hands maniacally around} happened over the past year or so, and those things came crashing down. There was a video-streamed grad. The holiday was canceled. etc. etc.

I think that’s the danger of letting the expectation of Easter Sunday turn into “waiting for something I’d really like to happen.”

It’s so much more than that. Those early disciples didn’t get it. They never saw death as part of Jesus’ plan to free his people. But on this side of the story, we have the privilege of knowing how it turns out. It’s not the same as something that I wish will happen. It’s the anticipation of something that will be happening.

Because tomorrow may not even come – but that doesn’t change what Easter means. Waiting to celebrate something that has already taken place is not the same as hoping something will happen. Waiting to celebrate someone’s life on their birthday is not so much waiting for that day, but celebrating what’s already happened. Who they already are. Sure, that specific date marks how many times around the sun they’ve ridden this planet. And while there is a sentiment of thanks for every year of life, it’s not deeply about 365 days of time -but that the person is here. That they are who they are. That they were born. So really, we are celebrating their birth which has already happened, and we just happen to use the yearly anniversary to do it.

Often Christians compare this Easter Saturday time to the current moment in history between Jesus coming to earth and when he will come again. It’s the time in between. We know something will happen -but it’s not here yet.

There’s a lot we’re all waiting for right now. For vaccinations, and lifting restrictions, and in-person greetings, and some sense of this all being over. But I think we need to make sure we’re not thinking about Easter (or the return of Jesus) in the same way.

We do ‘want’ all these things – but they may not happen. The virus could mutate again and we’re all back to square one. (maybe. honestly…don’t ask me – I really know nothing about virology)

However – let’s not let Easter fall into this category. Easter is an ‘already but not yet.’ situation. The hope of Easter is not an ‘I hope this will happen’ like ‘I hope the restrictions lift in time for that wedding this summer.’

But Easter is the celebration of something finished.

I need to remember that.