TGIF. With a whole new meaning, eh?
If anyone wondered where I was…. I was writhing in sickness the past few days, and before that I had the nerve to take actual family time, Result? More than a week without productive blogging. Oh, I wrote some self-indulgent drafts, but all my planned output is simple notes on what I want to write about.
Anyway, being horribly sick has a way of putting you in a perspective inducing humility. You know, flat on the floor… unable to take care of all your well laid plans. Having a stomach bug of some sort is particularly effective in reducing all your pride in short order. You are not actually dying but in the balance of how you feel about that. I will spare you the vulgar details, but it is a common enough experience that you can imagine what I went through. It was just in time to give me some Good Friday thoughts.
This is the day that ‘The Passion’ movie focused upon, the day where Christ suffered in ways that will take eternity to explore in its meaning and depth, but in ways that are immediately effectual for our human needs. We are sick and dying.
Sick and dying.
We need a salvation, a Physician, a Comforter. At our best we are pathetic and meaningless in the universe. We need a context of our meaning and the usefulness of our existance. We need to understand our sufferings and the suffering and decay around us.
And in this day…Good Friday…. it is illustrated for us. A bleak illustration, a horrifying one, but a necessary one.
It is not until Resurrection Sunday that we understand the message, but on this day we see our situation. We see our need of this Savior, while our repugnancy of seeing the pus of humanity… the sin-sickness of us all…. is too much for us to view. We turn away. Surely we are not as bad as all that. We are not so unjust. It always another who is guilty, surely not us.
But when we are in need, when sick, when dying, when grieving loss, we understand….we understand our need. I have been meditating upon the stripes of Jesus which bore my sickness, which have given me hope of recovery and relief. If we understood our extemity of this we would not cavil over who has enough faith, or not enough faith, over who gets what…but we would go to the source of our help seeking our relief to the greatest degree that our hand of faith may carry, for ourselves and those we love, and even those we do not know. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
And be grateful. Good Friday is for gratefulness, that prepares us for the joy of Resurrection Sunday…. with a day of resting in our helpless-ness, but healed-ness on Saturday. It is an end, a burial, and a beginning, a rising up.