Why do we call today "Good" Friday? Whoever named this day doesn't seem to have a handle on what the word "good" actually means. A quick read of the story of this day finds little for us to call "good." Christ is arrested and falsely accused. He is mocked, stripped, and tortured. He is hung on a cross. A few days earlier this same Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem as a savior with a parade of adoring followers. But on "good" Friday the people of the city He came to save parade Him back out of the city, up on a hill, and execute Him.
His best friends and strongest believers in the faith betray Him, deny Him, and run away from Him. And while we sometimes get angry at the apostles for their lack of faith, if we're honest we have to recognize our own similarities to them. When we feel weak or scared, we too run from Him.
Not a lot to feel good about right?
The Baptist Minister, S.M. Lockridge delivered a famous sermon where he reminds us that "It's Friday...but Sunday's Coming." If we just look at Friday it's easy to see despair and sadness. If we just look at Friday we see betrayal and failure. If we just look at Friday, death wins.
But even hanging on that cross, Christ knew what His friends couldn't yet understand. Good Friday wasn't the end...Easter Sunday was coming. Despite that great suffering Christ endured for us, He knew that his death on the cross would enable us to have the eternal life He reveals on Easter.
So, today, we invite you to remember this love by continuing the Triduum service started yesterday at Holy Thursday. Immerse yourself in the story of His death and let His mercy wash over you. Identify with the apostles' faith struggles. And if you're going through your own valley, remind yourself that it may be Friday---but Sunday is coming.
Here are some ways to help:
- The Good Friday Service (called the Veneration of the Cross) begins at 3:00 at St. Columba
- Reconciliation is at 6:00 at St. Columba. What an amazing way to conclude your lenten journey by removing those sins and being fully prepared for Easter!
- Tenebrae Service (latin for "darkness" or "shadows") takes place at St. Columba at 7:30. This beautiful service uses candles, light, and shadows as a incredibly unique way of remembering the passion of our Lord.