Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday? Yes and no...

Thirteen years and nine months ago, I arrived in Williamstown, Massachusetts with my fiancée on the Friday afternoon before our wedding. We greeted our friends and family members as they arrived in town to celebrate our upcoming nuptials. That was a good Friday.

Eleven years and four months ago on Friday, October 29, 1993, I checked into the now non-existent St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut after carrying Kristiana around in my belly for 42 weeks. Yup, upon her arrival early the following morning, she was a full 15 days later than her due date. When I hoisted myself up into bed that afternoon and began the process of labor and delivery, even though many hours of pain and hard work lay ahead of me, that was a good Friday.

Just over five years ago, the airplane in which I was traveling landed at the airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was there that Steve and I embarked on our first and only cruise – from BA up the Atlantic coast of South America to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That was a good Friday.

And two weeks ago today, we walked, rode, tubed, shopped, and wondered around London with our mouths hanging open on what was our first full day of vacation. That was a good Friday.

On the other hand, just over 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ was judged by and condemned to death by an angry and cruel mob, when He was stripped, whipped, spit upon, battered and bruised, when His brow was ripped open by the crown of thorns, and He was nailed to the cross and left to die on Calvary’s hill, that was not a good Friday.

Yes, I know that three days later He rose from the dead. Yes, I know that all of human history has been affected one way or another by that death and resurrection. Yes, I know that without the suffering, without the horror of that Friday night, there could be no joyful celebration on the first day of the following week when the tomb was found open and the grave clothes found empty. I understand and believe all of that with all of my heart.

But still, on the day that it all took place, when the earth shook, when darkness fell in the middle of the day, when the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, when the Mel Gibson’s proverbial teardrop fell from heaven, that was not a good Friday.

I’m glad that the story didn’t end on that sad Friday. I’m glad that that sad Friday was transformed into Good Friday when Sunday morning arrived. I’m glad that the solemn ceremonies of this day can be offset by the knowledge that, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.”

He is Risen.
He is Risen indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the States, Gail! Hope it was a wonderful time over in England... did the clouds move rapidly, bringing sun to the infamous grey skies? Thanks for your post on Maundy Thursday--I totally hear you... it was so helpful to read someone articulating the awkwardness I feel when they announce at church that there'll be a footwashing service... and yet, that's what Jesus did. it might take me until heaven to be okay with it... -Joanne