It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. (Luke 23:44-48)
Here we find ourselves at Good Friday. A day full of darkness and mourning, as we read the story of the death of Jesus. It is a day which we know comes every year. We began our journey to this day back on Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent. We have journeyed through the wilderness with Jesus, and we have continued through Holy Week, taking time to notice what leads up to this day. Even though we know it is coming, we still grieve. We still find ourselves filled with sadness as we remember what happened on this day. We might not be beating our breasts, but we still find ourselves grieving.
This Good Friday is different from any Good Friday we have had before. We find ourselves coming into this season having been dwelling and continuing to dwell in the darkness. We have truly been journeying through the wilderness, not knowing what each day will hold. We might find ourselves losing hope during this time. We might find ourselves more connected to the grief felt by Jesus’ mother and disciples more than before.
If there was ever a time to grieve, it is now. We see the despair, grief, and sadness in our communities, in our town, across this country, and across the world. We might want to escape it, but as we are reminded in Ecclesiastes, there is a time to weep, and there is also a time to mourn. We so badly want the good news of Easter Sunday to come, when we shout our Hallelujahs and rejoice that Jesus is risen and death doesn’t have the last word. Before we get there, we need to sit in this time. It might be longer than Friday and Saturday for us, but know that as you sit in your despair, Jesus sits alongside you, and weeps with you. We are never alone in our grief. God is there wiping the tears from our eyes and telling us to not fear.
Prayer: Loving God, we give you thanks that you sent your Son to us to bring us forgiveness, good news, and so much else. As we sit in this time of sadness and despair, remind us that we are not on this journey alone. Help us remember that wherever we go, you are right there next to us, surrounding us with your love, grieving with us, and wiping the tears from our eyes. Amen.
Action: Take time to read the entirety of the Good Friday story. After reading, take time to reflect on it. Maybe write down some things which have a different impact on you this year than in years past. Give yourself space to grieve today. This might sound silly, but it is easy during these times to fill our days up with things that we push our emotions away. Today is a day to not push those emotions back, but to just let them be