Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

Years ago when I was part of a ministry that did a Good Friday service every year, we struggled because we didn't know exactly how to present it. Many of our kids weren't part of a congregation so might no hear the Resurrection if we didn't present it on Good Friday. On the other hand, we didn't want to downplay the stark reality of Life submitting to death.

That tension of understanding why Jesus had to die in order for life to spring forth has been one of my core questions since then. At seminary, I encountered Don Juel who challenged me to think through that question. As a Good Friday meditation I reread his "A Disquieting Silence" which you can find in The Ending of Mark and the Ends of God. His thoughts are too complex to post here but they revolve around Mark 16:1-8. Jesus has promised resurrection, and is not there when the women arrive but the women leave in terror. God is on the loose, the door is open to the working of this terrible God who can even defeat death.

"Jesus has promised an end. That end is not yet, but the story gives good reasons to remain hopeful even in the face of disappointment. The possibilities of eventual enlightenment for the reader remain in the hands of the divine actor who will not be shut in-or out."

As we approach the open tomb and place our terror into the hands of the God who has gone on ahead of us, consider:

These are the words of the holy one, the true one,
who has the key of David,
who opens and no one will shut,
who shuts and no one opens: . . .
Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.
Rev. 3:7-8

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