Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday Blues

Sometimes, things are very sad.
Sometimes, things are very unfair.
Sometimes, things are very wrong.
That is a main reason people started singing the blues.[1]
I wonder what makes you sad?  I wonder what you think is unfair? I wonder what you think is wrong?
But the blues were not just about sadness, they were also about the difference between knowing something and living it.
"Everybody wanna sing my blues, nobody wanna live my blues."  ~~ Langston Hughes
        Sounds of Blackness – "Living the Blues" 

There are some places in our world right now where people, even children, are suffering in terrible ways. Here is one picture of that, painted by an artist.
On Good Friday, we remember how Jesus—God with us—suffered in terrible ways.
So, we know as we remember and get to know Jesus that Jesus knows suffering and that God is with us, even when things are very sad, unfair, and wrong.

We also heard the kinds of things Jesus said while he was suffering.
Jesus prayed a Psalm where he said honestly how it felt—it felt like God wasn’t there. (So Jesus knows how it feels if we can’t tell where God is…)
Jesus said that he forgave people that hated him. (So, we are challenged to forgive because God’s love is more powerful than hate).
Jesus, in the middle of his own suffering and dying, created a new family. He wanted to make sure that his mother had a son and that his beloved disciple had a mother, so he asked them to see one another as family from now on.

These same things that Jesus did on the cross, Jesus does for us.
Jesus prays honestly with us and invites us to be our real selves when we pray.
Jesus forgives and helps us be open-hearted toward others, even enemies.
Jesus creates new family, so that we can know we are never without help.

In the face of terrible things, Jesus showed vulnerability, courage, and love.
That is why this day is not just a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day… because of what Jesus did while he was dying. Jesus showed us a new way to live in the face of death, and that is why thousands of years later, we call this day Good Friday… and we will pray for everyone and the whole creation, so that God can keep transforming everyone and everything from ways of death to ways of life.

[1] Early blues frequently took the form of a loose narrative. African-American singers voiced his or her "personal woes in a world of harsh reality: a lost love, the cruelty of police officers, oppression at the hands of white folk, [and] hard times," from, accessed 4/11/2017.
[2] The art above is called I am alive by Abdalla Omari, a Syrian painter and filmmaker.

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