Good Friday in a Pandemic

The Christian heart understands what paradox is.

That two things can be true at the same time even if they appear to be contradictory. Paul teaches us that he did not do the things he loved or wanted, but did the very things he hated(paraphrase, Rm 7:15). Two things, both true: he was born of the Spirit, and yet, there was sin in him that he struggled with mightily.

Our Master taught us that paradox was real. That those who laughed now would weep. That those who were humiliated now are in fact, to rule. That things are not as they appear. That a man who may appear holy could be far from it.

Paradox. Contradiction. The human experience.

And we find ourselves today on Good Friday. Which in its name is the paradox of all paradoxes. Because on Good Friday we find the man and God Jesus who had done no wrong but love his creation find himself abused, reviled, beaten, scourged, bloody, whipped, torn, bleeding, nailed, humiliated, crucified, reviled.

And yet: it was Good.

It reminds us of the Creation story. That after each day, after each work, God said: “it is Good”.

On Good Friday something was being created. Something new was being formed. God’s creative energy, His grace, was at work.

And on this Good Friday, that same creative power of God is still at work. We are surrounded by real human suffering: the loss of life, the loss of loved ones, the struggle of sickness, the loss of jobs, the loss of safety.

Some might ask us: “Where is your God?”

We know. God is present. God weeps with us. God is drawing us close to him. God suffers with our pain, our loss. Jesus wept outside of Jerusalem. God is present in suffering. It appears to be contradiction, paradox, but it is not.

And for two thousand years Christians have been speaking and living this truth to power. When the plague hit ancient Roman Empire the history books show: Christians running into the plague, risking their body, their life, their health, to help others. Not just other Christians. But anyone. Even if they looked different, acted different, believed different, lived different.

And again, today, during this experience, Christians again are running into the face of suffering to help.

It is Good Friday. Jesus hangs on a cross. Covid 19 hangs like a cloud over humanity. Something is being built. Something is being fashioned. Something “Good”.

And that thing that is being built is the resurrection.

The reconciliation between human and divine; the reconciliation between human and human; the reconciliation between human and planet.

We can see the hope. We can see past the contradiction to the truth. That truth is not a what, but a person. God, standing there, loving us with his Son on a Cross with a plague on His people.

On this Good Friday of 2020, we anticipate a resurrection.

A resurrection from the tomb, from covid, from sin, from death.

To life, community, overcoming, and victory.

What an amazing resurrection it will be.

From Northern California with love,

Christopher Warren

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