The day the revolution began

I wrote some thoughts on this Good Friday about why I stay in faith. I needed to reflect on all of this in a time when it’s truly a temptation to “walk away.” Why do I stay?

I didn’t want to wreck the format of copying and pasting, which often gets messed up, so I will just LINK HERE if you would like to read more.

The revolution has begun.

Christ alone has the words of life. Where else can I go?

The goodness of this Friday

Almighty God, we beseech you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the Cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Good Friday 2017: History and Significance of this Holy Festival - NDTV Food

The day the revolution began

“The death of Jesus was the moment when the great gate of human history, bolted with iron bars and overgrown with toxic weeds, burst open so that the Creator’s project of reconciliation between heaven and earth could at last be set in powerful motion. The myrtle will at last replace the brier, and the cypress the thorn.” (N.T. Wright — The Day the Revolution Began, p. 349)

Good Friday — Judgment and Mercy

The cross of Christ is critical in the life of the believer. This year, it is a stark symbol for our time. We need to pay attention.

The way of the Cross is the way of humiliation. Our God is not the vengeful, warrior God. He is not about “conquering” the way we think in current American conservative Christian practice. Our current mentality is “war.” Our Lord is about the way of humiliation. The Cross is that symbol.

This Easter is a time of liberation… and judgment. If we see the way of the Cross again as the way of humility, we find true life. If we ignore the Cross and humiliation and continue to only seek “power” and “might,” we will find failure. We will find judgment. God will deal with our arrogance.

God, forgive us.

Christ, have mercy.

Good Friday in the time of coronavirus

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

4 Surely he has borne our infirmities
   and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
   struck down by God, and afflicted. 
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,
   crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
   and by his bruises we are healed. 
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
   we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all. (Isa 53:4-6)

Friday — into the darkness

O Sacred head now wounded
With grief and shame weighed down
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns Thy only crown
How pale Thou art with anguish
With sore abuse and scorn
How does that visage languish
Which once was bright as morn
— “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”, Bernard of Clairvaux

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Good Friday

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Though the darkness hide Thee

In doing a basic search for a picture of a closed tomb, I find far more pictures of open tombs… the stone rolled away.

We don’t like the feeling of Good Friday. Somehow, we want some glimmer of hope. Thankfully, we know the end of the story! But on Friday… this day… we need to feel the loss. 

Resurrection means nothing until you’ve stood at the grave. Not an open grave with nothing in it. Not a tomb with the stone rolled away.

The tomb has the body. The stone is over the entrance. All you had hoped for is completely gone. We need to feel the loss. 

The heavier the loss, the sweeter the victory.

The deeper the darkness, the brighter the light.

When you stand at the occupied tomb, you understand resurrection.

Part of the “practice of resurrection” is to understand a sealed tomb.

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. (John 19:38-40)

Lord, too often I want the shout of victory without the battle of suffering. I want to feel victory without tasting defeat. That is not your way. Your way leads us past this graveyard. Your way calls us to feel the loss so we may more fully understand the victory. I stand at this tomb today… lost. I leave Good Friday service tonight with a sense of not knowing. Let my soul wait. Let my soul HOPE. There is a deep darkness before the hope of dawn… and I choose to wait… longing for something more.