Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Friday, March 29, 2024

YEAR B 2024 good friday

Good Friday, 2024
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Hebrews 10:16-25
John 18:1-19:42
Psalm 22

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

When we lose someone we love, someone who means the world to us, people often try to make us feel better by saying the only things they can think of saying.  Things like God needed a voice for the choir, or a rose for the garden.  Or that somehow God needed our soulmate more than we did.  These things don’t help, to say the least.  But people don’t know what to say, and they feel like they have to say something.

But they don’t have to say anything.  And in those times of painful grief, it is usually better to say nothing.  There is no positive way to spin having someone ripped out of our lives, having our hearts broken, losing someone who means so much to us.  There is no upside, and there is nothing you can say that will make things better . . . except, “I am here.”

And this is where we sit today on Good Friday.  We have heard once again how Jesus has been killed in a most horrific way.  We have listened to everyone trying to justify their own complicity in this gruesome execution.  We have watched as most of his friends and companions have deserted him in his final hours.  

And in this moment, we want to say something, at least to ourselves.  To remind ourselves that Sunday is coming, because we’ve read ahead in the book.  We want to tell his devastated mother Mary about the rose in God’s garden and the voice in God’s choir.  We want to tell Judas about the redemptive power of forgiveness.  We want to acknowledge to our Jewish brothers and sisters that centuries of anti-semitism and genocide come from this version of the story—from the gospel of John.

We feel like we have to say something.  Just as people throughout history feel like they had to say something.  Find some words that will make everything better.  And that is why theologians come rushing in with all their fancy atonement theories to explain why this horrible story is actually a good thing, or is a necessary thing, or that God’s ways are not our ways.  All of which are just fancy ways of saying God needed another angel for the choir and a rose for the garden.

Sometimes, it is best to say nothing.  Let the story speak for itself.  Ponder our own place within what has happened.  Bring a bag of spices and wrap the body and place it in the ground.  And then sit in silence and wait for God to say something.  Because God will say something.  And if we’re so busy talking and explaining things, we might not be able to hear what it is God is saying.  So for now, let us sit and wait and listen.  Because God will indeed say something, and we don’t want to miss it.


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