Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

This morning I heard a truly beautiful narrative on the meaning of the cross and Good Friday here.  The text seemed so thoughtful, I have transcribed it below. 

Beyond all the hypocrisy and pomp, above all the pain and confusion caused by the church, this is truly the essence of the who Christ is.

"As you stand there, in this strange, powerful mixture of recognition and horror, bring bit by bit in the picture, the stories upon which you have lived.  Bring the hopes you had, when you were young.  Bring the bright vision of family life; of success in sport, or work, or art.  The dreams of exciting adventures in far off places.  Bring the joy of seeing a new baby, full of promise and possibility.  Bring the longings of your heart.  They are all fulfilled here.  

Or, bring the fears and sorrows you had when you were young.  The terror of violence, perhaps at home.  The shame of failure at school.  Of rejection by friends.  The nasty comments that hurt you then, and hurt you still.  The terrible moment when you realized a wonderful relationship had come to an end.  The sudden, meaningless death of someone you loved very much.  They are all fulfilled here too.

God has taken them upon himself in the person of His Son.  This is the earthquake moment, the darkness at noon moment.  The moment of terror and sudden faith, as even the hard-boiled Roman soldier blurts out at the end.

But then, bring the hopes and sorrows of the world.  Bring the millions who are homeless because of flood or famine.  Bring the children who are orphaned by  AIDS or war.  Bring the politicians who begin by longing for justice and end up hoping for bribes.  Bring the beautiful and fragile earth on which we live.  Think of God's dreams for his Creation, and God's sorrow at its ruin.

As we stand here by the cross, let the shouting and pushing and the angry faces fade away for a moment, and look at the slumped head of Jesus.  The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Him, here, on the cross.  God chose Israel to be His way of rescuing the world.  God sent  Jesus to be his way of rescuing Israel.  Jesus went to the cross to fulfill that double mission.  His cross, planted in the middle of the jostling, uncomprehending, mocking world of His day and ours, stands as the symbol of a victory unlike any other.  
A love, unlike any other.  A God, unlike any other."
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