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Life of BrianFather, seeker, minister, brewer, techie...

Putting the 'Good' in Friday

Christian tradition calls today ‘Good Friday. ’ But even long before I became a preacher, went to seminary, got a few degrees in religion and theology and all that, even before all of that, as much as now, I have never been able to make much sense of what is considered ‘good’ about today.
I know that with the lenses of Christian history, we now look back and see the good that came out of the crucifixion. We see the other side of the picture, the empty tomb of Easter morning, the forgiveness and reconciliation with God and one another shown to us through Jesus.
But according to all the gospel accounts, we pretty much see nothing but the worst of humanity on ‘Good’ Friday. We see brutality and violence inflicted upon another human being. We see Jesus, who spent his life teaching love of enemy and forgiveness for wrongs, we see him scourged and mocked.

A Table of Enemies

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” Jesus’ whole life has been spent sitting down at the table with those considered enemies. He has eaten and drunk with prostitutes, with sinners, with tax collectors, with Pharisees, and later this week, he will sit down at a table with Judas, later kneeling to wash Judas’ feet. Some of those enemies were simply outsiders to the community, people who for one reason or another didn’t adhere to the community standards of Jesus’ day. But others were indeed enemies who at some point meant to harm Jesus, who would turn against him, deny him, or sell him out for a bag of silver.

Happy are the Insulted

I find it extremely difficult to figure out how on earth being insulted or harassed or spoken of badly or falsely is somehow supposed to be a blessing or leave me happy. Of course the truth is that the same can be said of every one of these 9 beatitudes we’ve been studying for the past 8 weeks. How is being hopeless or grieving supposed to make us happy. How is being hungry or thirsty a blessing?

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