One of the recent Broadway hits is Hamilton written by Lin Manuel Miranda. It tells the story of Alexander Hamilton. In the musical, we find that Alexander cheats on his wife Eliza. While they are separated, their son defends the honor of his father in a duel and dies. The song “Its Quiet Uptown” moves us through the grief and the struggle for Alexander and Eliza to work through the unimaginable—the loss of the trust in their marriage and the loss of their son. The song begins “There are moments that the words don’t reach, there is suffering too terrible to name.” The Hamilton’s move uptown to work through the unimaginable but they are still facing their loss separately. In the middle of the song, Alex asks Eliza to let him just be by her side as they face this time. Towards the end of the song, the lyrics are . . .
“There are moments that the words don’t reach, there’s a grace too powerful to name…..
They are standing in the garden.
Alexander by Eliza’s side.
She takes his hand.
Its quiet uptown.
Forgiveness, can you imagine?
Forgiveness, can you imagine?”
It’s not an Easter song and yet when I watch the musical or hear this song, I feel Easter. Before Christ, we are disconnected, divided, disjointed from God, from each other, from Creation. In Jesus, there is this reuniting, redeeming, restoring, resurrection of all that we had lost. Holy Week and the Cross and Easter shout out…
“forgiveness, can you imagine?”
Jesus at the Table with the betrayer, the denier, those who would flee….”forgiveness, can you imagine?”
Jesus in the Garden praying, wrestling—“forgiveness, can you imagine?”
Jesus on the Cross saying “forgive them, they know not what they do”—"forgiveness, can you imagine?”
An empty tomb—“forgiveness, can you imagine?”
Jesus with Thomas, touch my wounds—“Forgiveness, can you imagine?”
Jesus on the road to Emmaus—“forgiveness, can you imagine?”
Jesus encouraging the disciples to throw in their nets on the other side, “forgiveness, can you imagine?”
Jesus with Peter asking “do you love me? Feed my sheep”—“forgiveness, can you imagine?”
In April going to Pentecost, we will look at the stories of Jesus after the Resurrection before Pentecost. We will hear stories of a grace too powerful to name. We will be left saying “forgiveness, can you imagine?”
May your Lenten journey be blessed.