WE HAD A CONVERSATION at church last week, one I am quite certain was not unique to this little study group. It centered on the reason Good Friday is called Good Friday. We came to a conclusion that satisfied us as we sat together in the sanctuary of our Presbyterian Church. But as I awoke on this Holy Saturday morning, the day between Good Friday and Easter, the question arose again.
The world is shrouded, liturgically speaking, in an incomprehensible darkness. Still my heart rejoices as I awaken. Spring is bursting forth! I want to jump out of this bed and run into this gorgeous day!
I don’t know how to reconcile the two. It’s as if the weight of the crucifixion is so heavy, the darkness so deep, the best my heart could manage was to give it a brief nod and move on. To go there—to truly go all the way there to the horror of those final hours, the savagery and the lost hope and the brokenness of the world—is simply too difficult. Too terrifying.
To go there and linger?
And so we fast forward from crucifixion to Easter. And instead of darkness, God gives us the prettiest Saturday of the year, right in the in-between.
AND THEN GOD sent me this message by Winn Collier, pastor at All Souls in Charlottesville, a theologian and writer who so often puts right into perspective the very question with which I am wrestling. In Broken on Good Friday, Winn writes about the need in this world for people who are willing to go to the dark places:
If we are to walk backwards in our world and if we are to reckon with the true horrors, then we need broken music. We need brave people who are not afraid to linger in the falling-apart places. I do not mean folks who by their disposition only see the bleak, for bleak is thank goodness not at all the whole of it. I do not mean artists who use the grotesque as their shtick or politicians who use our fear of calamity to bolster their power. I mean people who know the Beauty of the world but who also know there is a wasteland in the human soul. People who know Love but who also, deep in their marrow, know how many of our nights and days are overwhelmed by sadness.
Perhaps my question:
Why is it so easy to skip over the darkness of this day?
is not the right one.
Perhaps God’s more important question for us is:
Are you willing to go there, even when I do not thrust you into it?
Do you have the faith I will bring you back?
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