Good, good Good Friday. Oh, it was hard, though. I think I've entered Lent more fully than ever before this year. Part of it was fasting, so that when I thought about my hunger I thought about why I was hungry and then I thought about Lent and Jesus and the coming Passion. I've been mightily convicted about my pride over this season. It's not something I can fix overnight but I am trying to be more aware of all the sneaky ways it gets into me.
Yesterday's service was so moving. And I went to this new level of thinking about - no, pondering the cross. I've been uncomfortable with it for a while, not liking the whole situation, especially not agreeing with atonement penal substitution theories.
But yesterday I just gazed at a plain wood cross, and the choir sang a piece by Phineas somebody (music by Orlando Gibbons) that asked us what we had against God, and named all the things God had done for us, then reminded us that for our thanks we prepared a cross for him. ouch
Then we sang "Were you there?" which always gets me.
My main thing was that I am more perplexed than grateful. I honestly don't get it. I don't get what God did. Or why. There's no way I can get why. And to be truthful, I'm too bothered by that to even be able to be thankful for it. I know I'm supposed to be like, "We can never understand, but aren't we so glad" - but I'm not glad because I want to understand. Of course I do, that's why I'm in seminary.
But I know I won't. So I sit in the not understanding this year. And fortunately, I have many more years of Holy Weeks and Good Fridays to attend to, during which perhaps I will find the gratefulness. But this year, I'm just flummoxed. Which is just how it will be.
I seriously can't wait for tonight, though. I need Easter so bad this year.
One other thing: this meant so much to me. I'm putting in the movie now.
Maybe you'll read this after the fact and it won't make the same impact. But we can remember Jesus' sacrifice any time, right?
Blessings, blessings upon you. Can I say it yet? Is he risen indeed?
Oh, it's so close I can almost taste it!
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May I suggest Borg and Crossan, The Last Week, on that penal substitution stuff? Tho I suspect you know more about this than I do. Happy Easter.
Peace be with you! It's already Easter past here in Korea, but hopefully even now you're preparing for services in the States; may all the joy and hope of the day be manifest in thought, word, and deed for all.
[[I honestly don't get it. I don't get what God did. Or why. There's no way I can get why. And to be truthful, I'm too bothered by that to even be able to be thankful for it.]]
You know, I feel that way, too, assuming you're referring to why God would need to sacrifice his own son for us to be saved. I have never been able to understand it. If God is all-powerful, why was Jesus' death necessary, theologically, for our salvation? Couldn't God, in all his power, have come up with some other - more loving - way for us to be redeemed?
Maybe that's not where your questions are at this point, but I thought of that when I read your post.
I'm glad you found my reflection moving. Sometimes I get led to get it right.
One more thought I had this year by the end of Holy Week: maybe I don't have to understand it, I can just stare at it.
Don't know what that means, but it came to me quite clearly and I'm trying to do it.
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