[Good?] Friday

Good Friday is, perhaps, my favorite church holiday.

This day commemorates the crucifixion of Christ, whose resurrection is the cause for the feasting and new-life celebrations of Easter. Which is also a great day.

But some people get so excited about Easter that they skip Good Friday altogether. After all, what’s so good about the day Jesus died? It wasn’t so good for him.

While there are lots of explanations of the word “good,” some people say that Good Friday is good because of the ultimate salvation it brought to humankind. Yes. That’s probably part of it.

But I think Good Friday is also good for its own sake. For all who have ever suffered, this is the day when God chose to identify with us. To stop and mourn with us. A day when the loss has taken place and the redemption hasn’t.

We love stories with happy endings. We love them so much that sometimes we skip ahead to the happy ending, past all the dark parts, the sad parts, the parts where badness wins. This Easter story has a happy ending, eventually. But it is not yet. First, there is a time that seems like “the end of all things.”

Sunday is coming, but Friday is its own sacred space. 

If you are mourning today, stop and be here. Be silent. Lament for a while. Today is its own sacred space.

If someone you know is mourning, stop and be here with them. Be silent. Lament with them for a while. Don’t, please don’t, try to fix, explain away, or rush them past their grief. Today is its own sacred space.

Whatever our grief, today is a day when we are not alone in it. When God became “a man of sorrows” and chose solidarity with us.

And that’s why I say Good Friday is good.

Peace to you.

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