Friday, 14 April 2017

A Good Friday Reflection - 2017

After a long wait we finally enter Easter through Good Friday.  This is the most emotionally powerful day in the whole of the Christian calendar, the culmination of Jesus’ life and ministry, and the whole story of the Bible: the day they murdered my Lord, and everything changed.

I have often been struck by the simple beauty of the traditional English name for this day - Good Friday. How can it be good, they day they crucified my Lord? But it is right because it is a perfect example of how words can fail us, how the most profound and important of days cannot be properly described, do not need to be described. No more words could do better, so leave them aside. All the better to truly experience.

It was Good, Christ knew, when he prayed that the cup would pass, but he went forward anyway, knowing what must be done. That he would unite God with creation in its suffering, as he had in its birth, and its life. As creation suffers, he would suffer, because God bears creation within him, but through God's power transform and redeem it as well. Salvation comes through the Resurrection, through the bursting forth of God's power to overcome the old enemies: Sin, Death and the Devil, so that holy power could flow through our veins forevermore.

But without Good Friday there could be no Easter Sunday. So it is a good friday, but never have joy and sorrow been so mixed. For he was my friend, and my brother, even though he is my King. And they beat him and humiliated him, they tortured him and murdered him, and all alone, abandoned and forsaken by those whom he has loved, cherished and taught. Another unseen victim of casual brutality and oppression.

And his pain was not his pain alone, but the pain of the whole world forever, that God bears within him. So today is a good day to weep and to mourn. For the whole year round in suffering we must cling to hope, and the faith that evil never has the last word. But today we can give ourselves to grief for the whole world and its hurts and let it all out, for Syria, for Chechnya, for all the evil men and women do, and the suffering they cause to us and we cause to them.

But not forever, for now it's Friday, and time to weep, but Sunday is coming. . .


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