It's Good Friday today. Yesterday night, I had a hard time settling down for sleep. I've always thought about the death of Jesus on Friday, letting Thursday be a normal day of the week. That just isn't so. It was Thursday night that the disciples celebrated Passover with Jesus, Thursday night that He shocked them all by washing their feet, Thursday night that Judas left early and met up with his friends.
Last night, as I was praying, bringing things before the Lord, with a bit of internal angst, I realized that He had been praying in anguish on this night approximately 2,000 years ago. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is John 17 where Jesus prays for His followers in the garden of Gethsemane. He was about to face death in a particularly cruel way, and He was praying for us. For me.
It is hard to be unified. I'm beginning to think that it is impossible without God. Unity is part of what I was praying for last night, even as I'm struggling against it. Fitting that I would be speaking those words last night.
One of the things I love about living the Christian year is that I am in tune with what is going on, sometimes without my assent. My moods fluctuate, I'm tied to this in some ways. It's as if God is working in my life with the structure of the year. I never would have believed that that would be something I'd love, something I'd marvel at and fear a bit.
So today, the trial (if you could call it that) is over. Good Friday. God on a cross, us in anguish.
Good is such a deep, crazy word. It's one that I have been wrestling with lately. What is good?
I keep coming back to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe: "Safe! Of course he's not safe, but he's good."
Good Friday hurts. I'm feeling the sky darken. Even now, the weather is cooperating with the Christian year.
But this is good. Without this day, there would be no Sunday. No Easter. No life.
Let us not rush past the tough bits. They are there in life, all around us. Sometimes, they are mixed with the sweet, other times they are off by themselves. I don't want to ignore the suffering, pain and anguish. I don't want to miss the good.