Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

I was thinking of writing a post. Instead I have a link. Pastor Gavin has posted about Good Friday and the meaning of the Cross, in good Covenant fashion. Our Lutheran Pietist fore bearers would sigh in relief I think to know that bit of the fundamental reason for our split with Orthodox Lutheranism had been remembered.

After the Good Friday Joint service with Immanuel, St Elias and Reconciler 9:45 PM;
As I sit and reflect after our Good Friday service I remembered what I was thinking of writing. As I have been contemplating the Passion of Christ this week, I have felt how Jesus' suffering and death on the cross ties and is tied to so much suffering in the world. Listening to Jesus' prayers in the Garden I have heard the questions of people I have counseled and am currently counseling. I have heard in Spiritual Direction session people ask why God had abandoned them to suffering or trauma or severe and debilitating illness or injustice.

Tonight though as we heard the passion of John chanted I heard so many layers of meaning and significance. All the weight of suffering and inhumanity we humans inflict on each other here it all seemed to be concentrated. The weight was unbearable. The enormity of the misery of Christ passion has begun to dawn on me. This is odd to say for I have been to Good Friday services most of my life. I know the passion of Christ so well. Yet, only now at 38 in my 4th year as a pastor 7th year as a spiritual director does the full mystery begin to dawn upon me. The enormity of this one event, the centrality it has for all human suffering and any possibility for human hope. I am overwhelmed. I am lost in a darkness that is light. Part of me wants to flee this unveiling this clearing that appears before me for its sight is too terrible. Not terrible because what is there is horrific but because it is so other and it beckons me beyond even my greatest good I could dream of accomplishing. It calls me to let go of all even the good I could achieve. I am overwhelmed and as look at the words I have written and I know they fail. Here perhaps there are no words only silence.