Guest Post by Jordan Hirsch
Hey all. I wanted to share something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and that I finally found words for today.
I spent part of my afternoon today mixing our compost before it maybe snows tomorrow. This mostly just involved removing the winter’s worth of food scraps from the top and mixing those in with the layers of yard and garden waste from this fall.
I went from rake to shovel to gloved hands, digging to the bottom of our homemade bin. There were our non-decomposed, mostly dried flowers from Valentine’s Day, lots of moldy but still intact spaghetti squash skins, bits of brussel sprouts and carrot peels, and an embarrassing number of eggs shells. I dug, and I dug, and I dug, and finally, under a layer of last year’s late leaf drop, I found something I wasn’t expecting: new composted soil.
This past winter was long and hard, mostly emotionally (weather-wise, we’ve had much worse), and even though it’s been sunnier and warmer lately, Staying at Home due to trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 feels like a kind of winter of its own.
But friends, I want to remind you of something, especially today, Holy Saturday. Christ’s death and suffering bring new life. Christ conquered death, bringing reconciliation to us, bringing near those who were once far away.
Sometimes that death and suffering is a short-term thing: the heat of August turns our food scraps to usable soil pretty darn quickly. But sometimes, it takes a whole lot longer for that to happen–a whole winter for a few shovelfuls of compost.
I can’t imagine what it was like for Christ’s disciples on the Saturday after His death, how long it must have felt while the One they thought was the Messiah, the One who had declared Himself God, was dead and in a tomb. But Sunday did come, family. The tomb was opened, Christ defeated death, and He brought not just life, but everlasting life and life to the full.
Here’s the thing, though. In many ways, it’s still Saturday. The New Heavens and New Earth aren’t here yet. We’re still waiting, and sometimes that feels like Good Friday when death and suffering are right before us; sometimes that feels like Easter Sunday when we find healing, restoration, and freedom; and sometimes that feels like Holy Saturday: a long, slow wait for what’s been promised, wondering if winter will ever end.
And here’s the thing that hit me while I was in onion peels and decomposed weeds up to my wrists: in many areas of our lives, we won’t reach Sunday until we get to heaven. Our compost bin produced some soil for our garden beds this winter, but there were still plenty of apple cores and sweet potato peels and pine needles that winter had left nearly whole. Christ has conquered death, but He hasn’t returned yet. We’re still waiting for His final victory.
Until that comes, Saturday is going to be part of our reality. Suffering is still here, sin is still a struggle, and death and sickness still happen. We’re still waiting.
So praise God for the fresh soil He makes in you through hard times, and trust that He’ll keep doing so. But sit with those things have yet to be made new, hoping that they will be soon and knowing that if Sunday and new life don’t come until you see God face-to-face, it will still be worth it.