April 10, 2020
Morning has not yet arrived, so it is dark. I remember that today is Good Friday, the day we call “good” because Jesus offered himself so our burdens could be lifted and we could have life.
We know that Good Friday is not the end of the story, but I picture the sorrow of his family and friends who did not know that. They watch him suffer and hear him cry out. I can only imagine that their sorrow runs deep for the loss of one so loved, as well as the loss of their dreams for him as the longed-for Messiah, and the loss of his healing power, his teaching, his embrace.
This is a day to sit with that sorrow, to go deeply into it. We can let the long-ago sorrow of Jesus’ friends and family settle in our bones, not for always but for today. And when we do that we can touch our own sorrows. We have some current ones, because of present situation. Perhaps we cannot be with family members after the death of loved one. Perhaps a long-planned trip has been cancelled or postponed. Perhaps a loved one is sick in the hospital and we cannot go there. Perhaps a graduation or awards ceremony or prom will be at least changed, if not cancelled. Perhaps, perhaps….” beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand, the shadow of mighty rock within a weary land…” says the hymn “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”
Maybe we even need to sit today with some long-ago sorrow. Remember it, and go into it, not for always but for this Good Friday. It is a day to sit by Jesus and hear and see him, and his friends and family, and grieve with them, long with them, sorrow with them.
Part of this day is contained in the next lines of the hymn “beneath the cross of Jesus…a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way, from the burning of the noontide heat and the burden of the day.” Jesus knows our sorrows because he has lived them and provides a safe home for us, a place where sorrow finds a home for a while and is not to be ignored or dismissed, but held for just a while.
We do know that the sorrow of today will give way. Even as we sit with it God is beginning to break it open, so that the light of new life can come through.