April 3, 2015
While “favorite” seems to be an odd way to describe my connection to Good Friday – the day we remember the death of Jesus, the Christ – it is certainly the moment in the church year that I find most compelling.
I happen to be working on a Lenten Prayer book and today, coincidentally on Day 39, Good Friday. The particular prayer is title “on Justification” and here is a snippet, unedited and raw, of my reflection.
We have such a difficult time embracing our role in death: the walk to the cross, the preparation for death, and the striking of nails. Like we do with many difficult aspects of the faith story, be it the filth of the manger, the rape of Bathsheba by David, or people being massacred in the name of God, we make these things palatable by sanitizing, justifying or simply turning the page.
We, in essence, explain away the worst of our faith story, so we can move on to the best. But when do this, we give ourselves permission to do the same when it comes to today’s struggles. When it comes to people living in poverty, sexualized and raped, or murdered on the streets, we sanitize, intellectualize, justify or simply walk right on by.
So today, we pause on this day of death to remember and in doing so, we give ourselves the chance to all be part of a lifetime of hope.
As usual the service at my place of worship was meaningful and heartfelt, but there were times when I still think we missed the mark on really grasping our roll in the death of Christ and ongoing roll in death around us. That said, there were reminders of the pain, despair enough that I was again reminded of the importance of the Easter event that is to come.
So I sit in the grief for a moment longer, knowing that it is not to last forever, and trusting that this is the constant cycle of life throughout all my days.
See you tomorrow,