When Good Friday is just okay
I have a problem with Good Friday.
Heres the question: Have we, as citizens of one of the most powerful empires the earth has ever seen, lost the good-ness of Good Friday? Would Good Friday seem more good to me if I wasnt part of the 20% of the world population that consumes 80% of earths resources?
Dont get me wrong, I understand why Good Friday is good. But Good Friday forces me to confront my affluence and challenge my own theology. I cant help but wonder if the goodness is getting harder to see through the building fog of wealth, excess, and power on our collective glasses. This fog on our glasses and the inherent goodness Good Friday are, I believe, inversely proportional.
This means that for most of us, Good Friday is just okay. We have money, we have homes, we have jobs, we have families, we have status in the world, and we have security. While these things may feel good, they are not capital-g Good.
Heres what one theologian has to say:
We take comfort…that we are citizens of the greatest, most powerful nation in the history of the world. Doing so, we are tempted to support exercises of American might and wealth that may be unjust but are assumed to be necessary to secure our nation’s power. To be a citizen of such a nation at least suggests our lives will not be forgotten. When the history of history is written, America, like Rome, cannot be forgotten; as Americans we will have a place in history. Is it any wonder that a people so formed believe that what is happening in this man Jesus’ life is something about our significance? Is it any wonder that we find the lean and gaunt account of the life and crucifixion of Christ so unsatisfying? - Stanley Hauerwas, Cross-Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words, 41-42 (ht)
May we look past our own hedonistic desires to see a truly satisfying Christ on the cross; the One who is tremendously Good for the whole world.
What are your thoughts? What does it mean to say that this day is Good?
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