Posts Tagged ‘Good Friday’

Thoughts As We Enter Easter

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Take a minute to hold “Easter” …

We live life often like set of domoinoes … either “flipping” up or “crashing” down. Easter reminds us of one critical piece of life we often forget … we get to choose what stands and what falls.

Many of you hold wildly varied perspectives on faith, Christ and religion. With a smile I say that seems to be God’s plan! So beyond the story of Christ’s resurrection and the Christian faith is a simple story Christians and non-Christians can embrace. That is the story of dominoes, dominoes that actually did not fall.

Christ’s death on the cross, marked on Good Friday, was the culmination of years of unjust persecution at the hands of the Roman occupiers and religious authorities in ancient Israel. He was tried and executed in the most painful way known at that time … to languish, naked, nailed on a cross, a public humiliation of agonizingly slow death.

Imagine dominoes. Imagine them falling. And imagine, just before the final domino falls, someone says “Stop.” “The pain stops here.” “Revenge stops here.” “No more.” That is Christ on the cross where his plea is not for vengeance but “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” The cascading fall ends.

Christian or not, we can learn right at that place. What does it look like to give up vengeance in our lives … our marriages, our families, our communities, our nation, our world. Even in the face of shocking, unjust de-humanizing brutality can our words be for forgiveness and even hope?

And this is the miracle … they can!  Welcome to resurrection.

Would We Crucify Him Again?

Friday, April 6th, 2012

An uncomfortable question, one very real, very present on Good Friday.  Growing up, Easter was far, far removed from Good Friday, the day of Christ’s Crucifixion.  The Easter season was simply about Sunday – white chocolate and flowers.  Anne Lamott’s words then resonate deeply.

“We are Easter people living in a Good Friday world. And I think that every year the world seems more of a Good Friday world. And it’s excruciating, whether it’s Japan (and the tsunami), or Libya, or whether its your own best friends and their children who are sick, which is something that makes no sense when you think about a loving God. But it’s a time when we get to remember that all the stuff that we think makes us of such value, all the time we spend burnishing our surfaces, is really not what God sees. God loves us absolutely unconditionally, as is. It’s a come as you are party.”

So what I would urge us to do is sit with Good Friday.  Sit with the pain, the disappointment, the death.  Read yourself into the story as one of the disciples.  What part of you would have stayed to keep vigil at His death?  What part of you would have run for the hills, fearing for your own life, understandably certain all was lost?  What part of you would be complicit in this crime?

None of those questions are easy or pretty.  Would we crucify Him again?   Can I even wrestle with that question this season?  See I know Good Friday doesn’t “sell” for me or for many others.  And yet our world is a “Good Friday” world, a groaning world in which much is shifting, changing, and yes even dying. I don’t think I would in any way knowingly and actively participate in the figurative crucifixion.  But I am clear that Christ’s crucifixion in our times is not an execution at the hands of foreign occupiers and religious zealots but it is an execution at the hands of a satiated people well practiced at indifference.

And we have to wrestle most pointedly with that very indifference.  See if we let it in, really let in the Story of His life, a life including Good Friday, indifference is no longer an option. And that awakening from well-guarded indifference entails a death of sorts – death of comfort, safety, cherished illusions of what we believe to be life.

So maybe for today our prayer can be one of deep contrition, and yes, even sorrow.  Sadness for the sleep and indifference that would actually crucify Him again.