Hoy Week: Good Friday – Powerful and compelling, the passion story of God’desire to be known by those created out of true love. Yet even after all the expressions of love including the gift of a son, could such a story grab their attention? Could such a story be powerful enough that it could hold their attention even today. A segment on believing ran all week on a morning show. Though I tried to resist I must admit I was curious as to what many would say and who (the sample) would be included in this exploration of spirituality, faith and believing. Not surprising those participating were at varous perspectives of understanding, but it was the presence of the youth that solidifies the power of a God who desires to be known. Truly the work of something much greater than ourselves and we must continue to share the story of that Love. My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him… They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn; the saving deeds that he has done. Psalm 22:29-30
Clear Vision – Reconciliation
Arrested, accused and condemned to death, Good Friday, the second of the Triduum, is the day in which we remember this final act of the world, carried out against an innocent man. I like the way Lamentations 3:1-9,19-33, gives us a good visualization of one experiencing condemnation;
I am one who has seen affliction
under the rod of God’s wrath;
he has driven and brought me
into darkness without any light;
against me alone he turns his hand,
again and again, all day long.
He has made my flesh and my skin waste away,
and broken my bones;
he has besieged and enveloped me
with bitterness and tribulation;
he has made me sit in darkness
like the dead of long ago.
Still today innocent people are arrested, accused and condemned to death and we don’t call it Good Friday. One organization called the Innocence Project (1992) is dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing. As one might imagine thousands of cases today await evaluation as the screening process is extensive. However, as of today 316 individuals have been exonerated including 18 who previously served time on death row.
The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
A sentence of death is the final blow by the system, of those who are truly innocent DNA is their hope which ultimately has the last say. Perhaps for those innocent individuals a “Good Friday” is the day, when after a long and painful process, DNA proves what they’ve known all along. For us as believers, what’s good about Good Friday is that after the world’s sentence of death, nothing else can be done. God alone has the last say. Our journey takes us to the foot of the cross where we boldly face death and everything that we’ve committed to leave on the hill of Calvary. The Passion of Christ is our DNA. In the same way that we await Christ’s resurrection we are assured of our own resurrection and reconciliation. With Christ, by the work of the Holy Spirit within, True Love conquers death.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
We call it Good Friday, but what’s good about it? When Jesus carried His cross up Golgotha to be crucified, no one was thinking of the cross as symbolic of a burden to carry. To a person in the first-century, the cross meant one thing and one thing only: death by the most painful and humiliating means human beings could develop. Jesus is betrayed by one of his own disciples. Roman officers and the Jewish police arrest him. Another disciple blatantly denies his association with him. He is sentenced to death, crucified and buried. Between the backstabbers, “authorities” and so-called friends, one would think what’s the use? Who will continue the good work that has already begun?
Less than a year apart, two very significant people in my life died. The first died after a battle with a serious infection and the second almost immediately, right around this season of the year. When they were well, both had struggles. Some might even say that it was the struggles that lead to the death. I can’t knowingly say, but what I do know is that their deaths changed my way of thinking. They were what we call “good people.” By this I mean people who did good things. Somehow I didn’t fully understand why they did what they did until they weren’t here to do it any more. Who will continue the good work that has already begun? It’s Good Friday once again and here am I Lord. Let the journey continue and the cross no longer a burden or imposed humiliation but rather a strength and shield.
We remember his death…(BCP 368)
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light;he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
Lent: Day 39 – The time is come. No journey we take is ever without some kind of sacrifice along the way. Inevitably, it happens that we must lose something physically, emotionally or intellectually before we are able to understand its true significance in our lives. But any loss, that deepens a greater understanding of direction and purpose, becomes the light that liberates and enables us to press on with a strength we didn’t have before the loss. Christ is the Passover lamb sacrificed for those who believe in the power of that light. It is the light of the spirit that is left within us by our remembrance of that life and sacrifice which protects us as it leads our own life into glory that is everlasting.
Hebrews 10:16-25 Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.