It is with deep gratitude that we announce this to be the last of Reverend Baan’s weekly contemplations. His offerings have been a deep nourishment for our souls through a challenging year.
On the first Easter morning, after three days, truth came to light. No longer was Christ hidden in the heart of the earth, but He appeared as the Risen One in the light of day. The first ones to see Him with their own eyes recognized their Lord and their God at first sight—the only one who could say of Himself: “I AM the truth.” The doubters too, even doubting Thomas, had to believe. Thus it went for forty days. Truth had come to light.
What happened after that? How can we, doubting Thomases and vacillating Pilates, discover truth? Actually, the age-old question of Pilate has become a question of all of us: “What is truth?” And Thomas’ unbelief is reflected in our saying: “Seeing is believing.” These days we live in a world in which everything is pulled into doubt, in which nothing is as it seems, and in which our faith in human beings, in life, and in truth, is severely put to the test. When that is about to happen, you have to fall back on incontestable truth.
Someone who had spent years in a concentration camp in Indonesia told me once how she had survived that hell. Day after day, year after year, she had watched the sunrise. That was the only certainty that gave a firm ground to her shaky existence. For whatever is going on, whatever happens to us, each morning the sun appears and pursues its unwavering course through heaven.
The service at the altar is for human beings and angels what the sunrise is for the earth. Christ Himself walks over the earth, from altar to altar, and fulfills the sacrament with the light of His Resurrection. In the fulfillment of the altar service, in every true sacrament that is fulfilled on earth, we slowly gain the unshakable trust:
Whatever may happen in the world around us, the Christ-Sun rises each morning and fills the earth with His presence.