Good Friday. At it's best, Christianity does not, or ought not, seek to explain the "why" of death and suffering and cruelty and brokeness. Christianity can instead be, or ought to be, a response to death and suffering and cruelty and the brokeness of humanity. A response of Love. Tenderness. Presence. Hope. Light. Incense. Candles. Mirth. Music. Prayers. Action. Community. Bread. Wine.
Tonight, Christians the world over look directly into the heart of death and suffering and sit with the reality of evil in our world. And the question before us is not why it all went down the way it did--but how we ought to respond to the cruelty and sickness and suffering and death and evil that persists in our world.
So here we are. Good Friday. We sit in the darkness and wonder how in the world we ought to
As I sit and wonder, I am accompanied by Paul Simon's "American Tune." If you listen carefully you hear echoes of Bach as arranged in Hymn 168: "O Sacred Head, Sore Wounded." It is my favorite Good Friday Hymn.
The lyrics of Paul Simon's American Tune seem somehow appropriate every Good Friday. But espescially tonight as I wonder about a Christian response to the death and suffering and brokeness of humanity that COVID-19 continues to lay bare:
"And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
But it's all right, it's all right
We've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
we're traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what went wrong..."
How will we respond? And who we will become in our response? Peace be with you my friends. Sending so much love. And compassion.
Take heart, and be of good courage.
My Sermons (and other thoughts)
a sampling of sermons preached in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and a sprinkling of other writings