It’s evening. The pastor reads the prayers from a Roman missal balanced precariously on the hands of an altar server, the wind rifling the corners of the pages, “Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end…all time belongs to him and all the ages.” As the incense pierces the beeswax of the Easter candles, these words probe the wounds of my disbelief.
Make no mistake, I believe in Christ, Eternal God from Eternal God, risen from the dead, coming in glory. My problem lies here: time is God’s. Too often time seems to be a demonic presence harrying me from one end of my day to the other. Or it is a raging torrent that batters my heart, dragging me along when I would instead cling to the babe in my arms, or hold tight to the teenaged boys clowning in my kitchen. Even as I follow the candle into the dark church, I struggle to accept such forces could cut channels of grace. To chant in gratitude, "Thanks be to God."
Yet here it is again, in the first reading. The Spirit swept over the darkling waters, and the Word set the universe aflame. Time was cupped for a moment in God’s hand, then poured forth. There was morning and evening. And all the days since. It dawns on me that time is not a flaw in creation. It points me toward a God who let go what was clenched in his hands, chose to throw himself into the torrents of time with us, and promised never to leave. To this, I say amen. Alleluia.
A version of this reflection appeared Give Us This Day for the Easter Vigil