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Good Friday – A Reflection

by The Revd Pamela Turner | Rector | Parish of Mt Pleasant

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Good Friday – A Reflection

by The Revd Pamela Turner | Rector | Parish of Mt Pleasant

Standing Under

Thunder rolled the death knell for miscreants and Messiah, as they dragged themselves to Golgotha to die. The dust, the braying crowd, the stench of humanity, the piercing dread of losing the Beloved. The day they never believed would happen. He’d told them, taught them, prepared them. Tough love: I am going to the Father. I will be betrayed, mocked, flogged, crucified. The hour has come when the Son of God shall be glorified. ‘Sure’, they thought, hearing only the first sentence, resolutely unbelieving that their Rabbouni, their brother would ever leave them – not now, not like this. Most of them had fled, racked with the shame of denial, disillusionment, anger, grief – God knew. But mother, aunt and companions John and Mary Magdalene stayed, a quartet of tear-fall making damp the encrusted ground of Golgotha, marrying blood spattered from above.

Standing under the desolate truth of the Cross.

Leaning Against

On that Friday hope faltered and darkness seemed to triumph. Cut down from the wood, the dear body, pierced, was lifeless. The sky was black. Time seemed to stand still as in death it always seems to do – time outside of time, chronos eclipsed by kairos. Those who had leaned against him in life, did so in his death, holding, carrying, washing and preparing his body for entombment. Even Nicodemus from the periphery of hope, invited to lean against this intimacy. Sustaining each other in their suffering perhaps with memories, or daring to believe it was not the end.

Leaning against the Christ and each other.

Pressing into

From our side of the cross it’s an easy sleight of self-preservation from the violence, the dreadful pain of it, to step back and remove ourselves from the unfolding drama of Good Friday. It’s easier to outsource the shock and grief to readers, choristers, clergy and hot cross bun sellers. Easier to step away. Pretend it’s a pageant unfolding, let others bow their backs. But what this day of all days asks of us is to press in. Press, not just lean, into the shadow of the cross as it lengthens in the afternoon – long enough to hold us all, wide enough to enfold us in the story from the other side of the cross. Pressing in by listening, feeling, aching, entering and allowing empathy to erupt. Pressing into the greatest story until we truly become part of it in solidarity with Sisters and Brothers worldwide as we mourn Christ crucified, enter the suffering of one who died in solidarity with us.

Pressing in, casting our own cruciform shape in the world.

Walking alongside

Walking alongside others on Good Friday, entering into the story, we may experience God not willing us to suffer, but rather to love. We suffer then something of what God is doing in world, making it new, through love.

Walking alongside in Good Friday’s grief, gently hoping for awakening love.

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