Many of you have seen the new movie, “A Winkle In Time.” The story was written many years ago by Madeleine L’Engle and has just recently been made into a movie. Madeleine was a woman of faith who wrote books for children and adults. Below is a devotion she wrote which reminds us of what happens when Easter is over.
Waiting for Judas
John says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
When the world rejected that love and crucified it, Jesus did not lash back; he cried out in love and forgiveness.
Things are never quite the way they seem: things do not look the way we think they ought to look. Isaiah’s description of Christ as the Suffering Servant bears little resemblance to the pretty young man with the beautifully combed beard and melancholy eyes we so often see depicted. But Isaiah’s description rings much more true. In his own day, Jesus was a monster to many, disconcerting them with his unpredictability and the company he kept, vanishing to go apart to pray and to be alone with his Father just when people thought they needed him.
Perhaps if we are brave enough to accept our monsters, to love them, to kiss them, we will find that we are touching not the terrible dragon that we feared, but the loving Lord of all Creation.
And when we meet our Creator, we will be judged for all our turnings away, all our inhumanity to each other, but it will be the judgement of inexorable love, and in the end we will know the mercy of God which is beyond all comprehension. And we will know, as Hosea knew, that the heavenly Spouse says, “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.”
To the ancient Hebrew the love of God for God’s chosen people transcended the erotic love of man and woman. For the early Christian, it was the love of Christ for the church. For all of us it is the longing love of God for his Creation, a love which is too strong for many of us to accept.
There is an old legend that after his death Judas found himself at the bottom of a deep and slimy pit. For thousands of years he wept his repentance, and when the tears were finally spent he looked up and saw, way, way up, a tiny glimmer of light. After he had contemplated it for
another thousand years or so he began to try to climb up towards it. The walls of the pit were dank and slimy, and he kept slipping back down. Finally, after great effort, he neared the top, and then he slipped and fell all the way back down. It took him many years to recover, all the time weeping bitter tears of grief and repentance, and then he started to climb up again. After many more falls and efforts and failures he reached the top and dragged himself into an upper room with twelve people seated around a table. “We’ve been waiting for you, Judas,” Jesus said.. “We couldn’t begin till you came.”
The Bible tells us that God is no respecter of persons, and the happy ending isn’t promised to an exclusive club. It isn’t—face it---only for Baptists, or Presbyterians, or Episcopalians. 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, Alleluja!
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.