Justice and Peace Meditation for Good FridayReadings: Isaiah 52:31 - 53:12 -- Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 -- John 18:1 - 19:42
Solidarity to the brink of death, painful death, and
beyond. Never think that God doesn't understand your pain.
He was there.
"He was tortured, murdered and buried." Just like so
many other men and women in human history who suffered at
the hands of someone stronger than they. And a death as
real as any experienced by all of humanity.
Can we bear to behold such solidarity? Today we venerate
and kiss the Cross, symbol of our Savior's offering, but
isn't true veneration of the Cross the willingness to live
the life-poured-out-for-others that it symbolizes? Today,
tomorrow and the day after that?
So what if we are not all Mother Teresa or St. Francis --
does this mean that we must close our eyes to what is
happening all around us? I think that too often we would
rather keep our Christ safely nailed to a cross,
preferably a nice pretty gold or silver cross. But
the question of Good Friday is -- Where is our solidarity
today with the Jesus who is among us?
Would we volunteer our time in the urban inner city?
Would we speak out against unjust war when the crowds are
chanting "Crucify those Iraqi bastards!" What about an
impoverished rural community along the Rio Grande,
or in the Navajo Nation? Do we spend more on fun and
frivolity than we share with those who are in need? Can we
kiss a Cross in our church, and then turn our backs
on it when we are out in the world? Sure we
can, we do it all the time, but the message of Lent
culminating in this Good Friday observance is to
turn away from that kind of sin, reform your ways and
manners of living, and rise on Easter to new life in
As we have journeyed through Lent and into Holy Week, the
call to daily conversion of life is consistent and without
We do not have to walk in misery and darkness. We can
break free of the chains of slavery to materialism and
consumerism and violence and lust and greed and all the
other sins of this era. We can rise with Christ to new
life, a more holistic life, with balance and healing and
virtue, a generative life that brings forth harmony,
reconciliation, and peace, a joy that is rooted in service
As the Good Thief discovered that day nearly 2,000 years
ago, it is never too late to turn back to God. There is
never so much water under the bridge, that the bridge
cannot be crossed. There is no burden so great that Jesus
cannot help you carry it. There is no one who is so far
away that they cannot be brought near by the Blood of
Jesus Christ, which cleanses us from all sin and restores
our relationship with God and each other.
"So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need."