Good Friday, April 10, 2020
Matthew 26:31 – 27:54
Our culture doesn’t like grief. Grief is a complex emotion … a series of emotions as different in each person as is one fingerprint from another. Grief is darkness, and we don’t like darkness. Brené Brown says that our contemporary way to deal with darkness is to come in and start turning on as many lights as possible to shoo away the darkness. We don’t like grief.
Yet today is a day of grief. Resurrection Sunday loses its impact without stopping to witness the suffering Messiah … the dying Christ. The words of the narrative move us to this place. There is nothing but silent darkness. It is that vacuous sound and extreme darkness of nothingness. You know what this means if you have suffered loss of someone very close to you, and you also know that few will understand it or have the emotional capacity to just sit with you. Our culture doesn’t care that much for grief.
Jeff’s death came to us that way. He was the son-in-law we had known more as a son. He was ours. Then in a moment, our world was transformed from dreams and hopes to uncertainty and sorrow. The darkness was all consuming … there was no part of my world that was immediately accessible to me in that moment. I couldn’t see or hear in that dark, vacuous space … even God could not be seen and certainly not heard. Nothing.
Each year, I collect my griefs, bound in memory … and bring them to the cross. It is a Friday called Good, but it’s misnamed. It is a day of sorrow and a day of grief. Then I look up and realize that the “Goodness” is the growing awareness that there is someone suffering in the darkness with me … with us. The God I have come to know and love has quietly slipped into my darkness … unseen and unheard … until I hear the nails hammered into hands and feet. In an act of ultimate solidarity, Christ does not hang on the cross alone. Christ knows our brokenness … our suffering … our loneliness … our shame. We are not alone!