It's Good Friday today. It is a service that is not as well attended as I think it should be, but I am one voice in the myriad of voices, and I can accept that.
During the church year, I cannot think of a more poignant and meaningful service to attend. We tend to think of the traditionally major holidays or times of year. But if you think about it, could there possibly be a more important or meaningful day than Good Friday? Perhaps with the exception of Easter Day. Many forget that you can't have Easter Day without Good Friday happening to begin with no matter how you look at it. It is a solemn service but then the impending death of an individual for the sake of many should be solemn and give one pause in the overall scheme of things. Death is not something we take lightly in our culture. Yes death happens moment by moment and it will happen to us all in time.
The death of the Son of God is a different matter. Imagine God's grief at the death of Her only Son. Unless you are a mother, we have no clue to the depth of grief and immortal pain. We can sort of relate to it but not exactly. Suffering, as I have said before, brings knowledge eventually and a wisdom beyond what we think we can ever know. This was God's consolation: that Her Son would rise again and be glorified. Jesus, though He had asked that the cup pass from Him, knew how it would turn out but He did not skip the hard, tough part and go straight for the glory.
It is in many ways like Holy Week. As The Rev. Susan Russell put it this way: "some people go from Palm Sunday straight to Easter without the difficult parts in between." Jesus could have done that but He didn't; it was not part of The Plan. Instead He became wholly weak in His humanity; was humiliated, persecuted, physically tortured and then crucified.
Why should Holy Week be any different for us, His disciples? It is ok to become wholly weak, to try to understand some of His grief, His pain, His humiliation and in our spirits, His sacrifice for us and His death. Part of our servanthood and the priesthood of all is to take part in and become Christlike to the extent that we can, bringing with the experience a deeper dimension to our lives and a more extensive compassion to those around us.
I know that Holy Week and all it contains will make my life a better life, spiritually and tangibly. And Easter morning, I will awaken with a new awareness of what it means to be His disciple and servant. Amen.