Good? Friday

Good Friday reveals the paradox of Christianity. How can Christians mark the day of their leader’s brutal death as good? It is only by looking back on it from view of Sunday’s resurrection, realizing the atonement provided on that cross, full and spilling over with love. But from Friday to Sunday morning darkness and sorrow reign.

Here are a few selections from one of my favorite George Herbert poems for you to meditate on between now and when we gather to worship our risen Christ, the one who redeemed us with his own blood.

Oh all ye, who pass by, whose eyes and mind
To worldly things are sharp, but to me blind;
To me, who took eyes that I might you find:
                                Was ever grief like mine?

The Princes of my people make a head
Against their Maker: they do wish me dead,
Who cannot wish, except I give them bread;
                                Was ever grief like mine?

But, O my God, my God! why leav’st thou me,
The son, in whom  thou dost delight to be?
My God, my God ———
                                Never was grief like mine.

Betwixt two thieves I spend my utmost breath,
As he that for some robbery suffereth.
Alas! what have I stollen from you?  Death.
                                Was ever grief like mine?

They give me vinegar mingled with gall,
But more with malice: yet, when they did call,
With Manna, Angels food, I fed them all:
                                Was ever grief like mine?

They part my garments, and by lot dispose
My coat, the type of love, which once cured those
Who sought for help, never malicious foes:
                                Was ever grief like mine?

Nay, after death their spite shall further go;
For they will pierce my side, I full well know;
That as sin came, so Sacraments might flow:
                                Was ever grief like mine?

But now I die; now all is finished.
My woe, mans weal: and now I bow my head.
Only let others say, when I am dead,
                                Never was grief like mine.

See you this Sunday, when grief turns to celebration and death begins to die.