Tension of the Cross, Hope of the Resurrection

The disappointments of Holy Week and the bitterness of Easter Communion at St. Paul’s [Episcopal Church in Selma, AL] forced our eyes back to the inscription over the altar: HE IS NOT HERE. FOR HE IS RISEN. In a dreadful parody of their meaning, the words seemed to tell a grim truth that was not exhausted by their liturgical import.

This is the stuff of which our life is made. There are moments of great joy and moments of sorrow. Almost imperceptibly, some men grow in grace. Some men don’t. Christian hope, grounded in the reality of Easter, must never degenerate into optimism. For that is the road to despair. Yet it ought never to conclude that because its proper end is heaven, the church may dally at its work until the end is in sight. The thought of the church is fraught with tension because the life of the church is caught in tension. For the individual Christian and the far-flung congregation alike, that is part of the reality of the Cross.

— From an article by Jonathan Myrick Daniels (1939-1965)
Martyred for Civil Rights Demonstrating in Selma, Alabama



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