Letters from the Intern
Our "Good Friday" Moments
The sun is setting. The sanctuary is lit with candles held in the hands of teary-eyed people singing together. “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” rings throughout the building. I hear sniffles as we switch the verses to “Were you there when they nailed him to the tree.” And “Laid him in the tomb.” These words permeate our hearts; remembering Christ’s death at the hands of hate and fear. Yet Christ loved us through it all.
I know what you’re thinking, “Kate, it’s after Easter, why are we talking about Good Friday?” You’re right, we have heard the good news that Christ overcame death and has risen! What an occasion to celebrate! It is joyful and we are Easter people, but the hope of Easter is empty without the experience of Good Friday. Good Friday not only reminds us of the immeasurable love that Christ has for us, but it reminds us that amidst death, there is new hope.
For the people there, Jesus was making the way for love, justice, and peace. His followers believed in him and his message. And then he was killed, abruptly, brutally, and publically. The people there did not hear a message of hope any longer. They watched as their beloved God in flesh was murdered; Killed for nothing more than existing and spreading a message that threatened the power structures in place. An act like this would make anyone question, “God, where are you?” It is this question I find myself asking in difficult times.
Although we are living in a post resurrection world, we too have Good Friday moments throughout our lives. Maybe it’s a cancer diagnosis, or the death of a friend. Maybe it’s the feeling of not knowing where the money for a car repair is coming from, or how you’re going to pay for food for the next week. When we step into unknown territory like this, we are filled with fear and questions.
This fear that fills us does not make us bad Christians or unfaithful people. It’s a natural response to difficult situations. When we experience fear and doubt, it’s our faith that keeps us going. It’s our faith that carries us. In our Easter celebrations, we cannot dismiss the two days before where the darkness seemed to overcome us all.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:9,
“Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
I love this verse and think it’s so important to our Easter season. Even after Christ was raised from the dead and had ascended into heaven, there were still questions. There was still fear. Yet, in the hardest times, our faith is all we have. It might not completely fix our problems, it might not even comfort us completely, but it reminds us that on this path of life, we are not alone.
Maybe we know that joy comes in the morning but at times, the night seems so long. We might hear the Easter message and know that we have so much to hope for and love to fill our hearts. But if it doesn’t feel like that right now, that’s okay and God is with you. In addition, the community of St. Andrew is with you, and we will stand with you through it all. Because you are a beloved child of God, part of the body of Christ, and God has a plan for you filled with hope, love, and peace.
Let us pray,
Holy and everlasting God, you give us the gift of life. Remind us that in this gift you are walking with us; that you are greater than the ups and downs. Renew in us the joy of salvation and the hope we have in the resurrection.