Don’t forget to grieve
I once attended a Good Friday service where the pastor encouraged us to look at Good Friday positively, to see the crucifixion through “Easter eyes.” I could only shake my head at this massive misunderstanding and missed opportunity.
His intentions were good… He didn’t want anyone to feel bad. He wanted to protect us from feeling defeated as we meditated on the death of Christ. It’s completely understandable. But in doing so, he robbed us of exactly the feeling and experience that Good Friday is meant to give us…
Every year the pastor stands and does his best to project the words “Christ is risen!” And we half-heartedly answer, “He is risen indeed…?” Usually we have to try it a couple of times to work up any enthusiasm at all.
And the reason we don’t feel the joy at Easter that we know deep down inside we should, is because we don’t feel the grief at Good Friday that we could. We enter our well-lit sanctuaries on Good Friday, sing some songs, hear a nice message about the crucifixion, and go out for dessert afterwards with our friends. We enter with smiles on our faces and leave the same way. If only we knew how to grieve…
Good Friday ruined the first disciples’ weekend. Maybe we should allow it to ruin ours as well.