Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

It's a day of sorrow, suffering, shame and grief.

Jesus, God in flesh, speaks his last words, as he dies on the cross.

It's hard to begin to conceive what he endured for us.

Heartsickness awakens other griefs, new and old. I grieve not only Jesus, but all those I love but see no more. Dad, who died too young so many years ago, but who would have turned 85 this Lent. Karen, even younger, who died only two weeks and two days ago. All of them.

Bitterness is the taste in my mouth.

Sorrow is for the things we did to Jesus and the things we do today. Scratch us, some 2,000 years later, and find a barbarian just beneath the surface. We are so capable of the vilest actions.

Yet he loved us. He died loving us, despite what we did and do. He still loves us.

On God's Friday, I grieve. But joy comes in the morning.

Just as Jesus commended himself to his father's hands, so I commit myself and all those I love. In life and death, we are safe in his hands.

Sunday, we will receive a garland of praise and gladness.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, we pray you to set your passion, cross and death between your judgment and our souls, now and at the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living; pardon and rest to the dead; to your holy Church peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen. -- from The Book of Common Prayer

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