The Quixotic Pastor

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Good Five For Good Friday

Revgalblogpal RevHrod brings us a timely and thoughtful Friday Five today:

As a child the designation "good" for today confused me. How could we call such a somber day, good? Holy, yes. Blessed, yes. But, good? As an adult I understand the meaning of good for this day. It is a solemn day of remembrance but it is also a time for us to stop and recall the great gift of love that we received this day. And that is most certainly good. Our worship today will differ from place to place. Some services will focus on the great litany of prayers. Others will use the seven last words of Jesus. Some of us will walk the stations of the cross. Others will participate in a Tennebrae service of shadows and light. I hope that this Friday Five will be a meaningful part of your Good Friday. God's blessings to you on your journey.

Our prayer concerns are as varied as we are this day. For whom would you like us to pray?
Pray for individuals and communities who are struggling to be and do church authentically. Pray for a world that seems on the brink of entering another Dark Age.

Are there things you have done or will do today to help the young ones understand this important day in our lives? Not too many young ones around me, unfortunately. But I think I might try to explain that Jesus loved God and loved us so much he was willing to embrace the scariest thing in the whole wide world ...

Music plays an important part in sharing the story of this day. Is there a hymn or piece of music that you have found particularly meaningful to your celebrations of Good Friday? I always listen to a requiem mass on this day, usually Rutter or Faure, but perhaps I will find something different this year.

As you hear the passion narrative, is there a character that you particularly resonate with?
This year, I've been sort of fascinated by Barabbas --if there is a Patron Saint of Survivor Guilt, it might be him. I know what it is like to be a part of a community that is often dehumanized as a political pawn --Barabbas was something of a political pawn. One wonders if Barabbas realized the entirety of the significance of Jesus' life being exchanged for his and if he ever figured it out and how his life might have been changed ... or did he just enjoy getting off "scot free." I know there's a book and a movie or two exploring that question --maybe I will have time to read again some day?

Pilate and his wife fascinate me too --Dorothy Sayers, in the radio play she wrote for the BBC back in the early part of last century, available in book form as "The Man Who Would Be King" says that the dream that Pilate's wife had was the hearing of millions of voices across time and space, reciting over and over again, "was crucified under Pontius Pilate." The "pontius pilate solution," his attempt to wash his hands of responsibility for the event of Jesus' death, failed miserably.

I'm Barabbas when I am tempted by cheap grace; I'm Pilate when I evade the responsibilities of leadership and the doing of justice for those who are victimized by power.

I'm also Pilate when I am scared to death to do the right and just thing or give in to that which is expedient instead of that which is just ...

I wish I could be more like Veronica and Simon of Cyrene --see someone suffering, do something simple to ease, comfort and help out, freely or under compulsion.

Where have you seen the gracious God of love at work lately? In my tiny little faith community ... in the love of my partner ... in the online communities of which I am a part.


  • At 9:03 AM , Blogger The Swandive said...

    love love love your #4 reflection. Beautiful.

  • At 9:04 AM , Blogger Auntie Knickers said...

    A great response to #4 - very thoughtful and gave me much to ponder.

  • At 9:59 AM , Blogger Mary Beth said...

    Love this!

    I have always wanted to read Dorothy Sayers' Christian writing, but our library only has mysteries. A light dawns: Interlibrary loan!

    Thanks for the reminder and the great play!

  • At 10:09 AM , Blogger RevHRod said...

    Thank you for posting. Your number four is extremely thought provoking. All the Barabbas movies I've ever seen were very 1950's melodramatic. Maybe it's time for a new look at an old story.

  • At 11:05 AM , Blogger Sue said...

    Praying here...

    Great play. A blessed Good Friday to you and yours.


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