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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[] we consume and then figure out what percent of the worlds population we are as Jake has done here).  Before anything else can be remedied, these two ideals must be crushed beneath the feet of the []

[] I hate that Im not more connected to Easter. Emotionally or spiritually Im just sort of ambivalent this year. Last year I went through a no-meat Lenten fast. This year . . . well . . . I guess Ive kind of given up beer. But not really for Lent. And not strictly. I suppose Im missing out on the deeper meaning and resonance of Easter. But I just dont feel like it this year if Im being honest. Im thinking about going camping tomorrow. Apparently Im not the only one and Bouma nails it on the head. []

[] When Good Friday is just okay by @jakebouma []

[] When Good Friday is just okay by @jakebouma []

[] When Good Friday is just okay by @jakebouma []

[] When Good Friday is just okay by @jakebouma []

[] When Good Friday is just okay by @jakebouma []


Comments

According to the bulletin of the service I attended tonight, the ancient title for this day - the triumph of the cross - reminds us that the church gathers not to mourn this day but to celebrate Christs life-giving passion and to find strength and hope in the tree of life. I agree that there is a lot that is NOT good, or just Okay in this world, but today is titled as GOOD to remind us of the hope that Christ instills in us, and to call us to action to change the world for the sake of the cross. I also am always moved by a couple verses of the oh-so-famous hymn Ah, Holy Jesus, including the end of the second verse where we sing I crucified thee, and the end of the fifth verse where we say that Gods love unswerving is not my deserving. No matter what shape our world is in, God continues to love us and to teach us now THAT is Good news.

Amanda: I agree that today the crucifixion is indeed good news, and I dont think I articulated my thoughts very well. Let me see if I can clarify.

Good Friday (a.k.a. The Triumph of the Cross) beckons us to look to the cross and see its goodness and then cling to it. I, and many others like myself, cling to a great many things that I call good, and I think that having all these competing things makes it harder to depend on Christ, and in turn makes it harder to see just how Good it truly is.

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