It’s Good Friday.
I find myself feeling sad this morning.
It’s Holy Week. And yet this week I’ve barely had time to even recognise what day it is, let alone that it might be a Holy Week day.
Under usual circumstances I’d have gathered with other clergy, we’d have shared in our recommitment to serving Jesus, received oils to use as we serve others. In fact I didn’t even ‘attend’ the online version as I was at that very moment taking the funeral of a wonderful man whose send off was not what it should have been. And instead of gathering together in unity, so many clergy are sniping at each other online.
How could all this be Holy?
But as I sat in bed this morning thinking about it all and wondering where Jesus is in all this, I looked back over the last few weeks…
There have been clashes between what the ruling forces decide is right and what the people want. There have been political tensions as we head towards the festival this weekend. People divided against people.
Religious rulers bickering and arguing.
Our temples have experienced anger as they have been cleared, of all activity, not even the religious rulers allowed in. We’ve argued about why what we do is right, convincing ourselves that this teaching is radical and not to be trusted. Are the religious rulers really representing the people?
And amongst it all great acts of love too. I’ve seen loving teaching from some unlikely places, beautiful words spoken between friends. Overwhelming sacrificial acts from NHS staff and other key workers. Neighbours have loved one another in isolation, via WhatsApp, or with doorstep deliveires.
Betrayal has been felt. By church leaders let down by those they trust and respect. By friends and neighbours, policing each other’s movements. By those whose homes are not actually safe at all, and who are consigned to a living hell. I feel the weight of hurt and pain in other’s lives.
Friends have gathered for meals and times together, via zoom of course. Online sharing of wine and perhaps some carby snack of the day. Personally, our times with our home group online have been some of the most precious, sharing communion together being so moving.
And today. Good Friday. I awake to feel bereft. For loss of normality, for the increasing needs, for the bereaved, for lack of understanding, for criticism and denial, for not being respected and believed. For things not being the way we thought they should.
Perhaps it’s not so different to that first Holy Week after all?
And above all, hope remains in my heart.
I know that celebration is coming, that joy will return.
Perhaps for now I need to just rest in the place of Good Friday, until Sunday comes.