Good Friday

Good morning all!  We have made it to Friday!  Just a few more days of the blog this season…if you want to go back to any of the entries, you are welcome to go to the wordpress blogsite as well.  

Today’s scripture: John 19: 17-30
So they took Jesus; 17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” 23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

25 And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. 28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Blessing for Good Friday by Jan Richardson

You will know
this blessing
by how it
does not stay still,
by the way it
refuses to rest
in one place.

You will recognize it
by how it takes
first one form,
then another:

now running down
the face of the mother
who watches the breaking
of the child
she had borne,

now in the stance
of the woman
who followed him here
and will not leave him

Now it twists in anguish
on the mouth of the friend
whom he loved;

now it bares itself
in the wound,
the cry,
the finishing and
final breath.

This blessing
is not in any one
of these alone.

It is what
binds them

It is what dwells
in the space
between them,
though it be torn
and gaping.

It is what abides
in the tear
the rending makes.


I love how Jan Richardson works blessing into Good Friday.  She is one of my favorite bloggers in the world.  Her blog Painted Prayerbook is a constant go to for me.  Her words capture, many times, what I feel during holidays or with scripture.  Today is no exception when she talks about Good Friday.


This is always an interesting day for me.  For some reason, when I dwell in Good Friday, I seem to feel the story a bit more.  Each year I sit in a Good Friday service and usually by the end of it there are tears about what is to come.  I know each year that Jesus will die on this day.  That is not a surprise but each year it feels as though I am mourning anew.  Who really knows why we call this day Good.  There are many theories out there about way…perhaps because in translation the words for holy went to words for Good.  Or perhaps God Friday got missed along the way.  Or some people say that it is good because without death you can’t have new life that is to come.


That use of Good in the death story was very confusing when I was just learning about this holy week growing up.  Friday seems so dark in this story…how can it be good?  But I have come to embrace what Good Friday does for me.  It allows me to dwell in places I don’t normally get to.  In our culture we value being just fine.  How are you?  I’m fine! How are you?  Today, we don’t necessarily have to be just fine.  We can dwell in these moments of transition and sadness.  We can mourn where people are dying all over the world and there is great injustice.  We can weep for those we feel we can’t help and for those we do help and embrace.  We can mourn past losses and look towards new life.


Don’t hurry through it either.  This is a process. This mourning thing. It can really catch us off guard in other ways if we don’t let it take its course.  Let your heart dwell a bit where it is broken.  Because in those broken spots, that is where new life will take hold in a few days.  That is where you will feel the most.  Those are the thin spaces that will feel God’s presence even more on Sunday morning with joy you can’t imagine.


But today dwell a bit…take some time…embrace whatever emotions come.  Let tears fall.  Let emotions run.  Let your heart break again.




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