Lenten Devotion for April 3, 2015

Good Friday, April 3, 2015

Submitted by rmurden on Fri, 01/30/2015 – 14:25

Morning Psalm: Psalm 22 | Evening Psalms: Psalm 40, 54
Genesis 22:1-14 | 1 Peter 1:10-20 | John 13:36-38 | John 19:38-42

Long Friday

The day begins with that darned bird at dawn.
We’ve spent the night denying what we are,
So unrepentant, sullenly, we spar
And drag our feet, and, shamefully, we yawn.
We traipse behind the crowd from court to dock.
What’s happening isn’t clear, but voices mock
Our Confidence.  The women weep.  We hold
Our breath to watch a Roman’s conscience fold.
A brief respite – some gall – the fig soon dries.
When we are brave enough to climb that hill
And retching, kneel, undone, His students still,
Thrice nailed and triple-crossed, our Rabbi dies.
We struggle through to dusk as best we can.
Was this the plan?

Although they do not rehearse the full, familiar story of Good Friday, the Genesis, New Testament, and gospel passages might be said to be about our thwarted plans: God’s plan “from the foundation of the world,” in contrast to humans’ plans, which go awry.

Some of us set about obediently like Abraham to do what we are told, only to have God’s voice overset and correct our intentions. Some of us are mistakenly overconfident like grandiloquent Peter; we make elaborate commitments we cannot possibly carry out. Sometimes, we use our resources rightly to do good things, like Joseph and Nicodemus who buried Jesus’ body under cover of darkness, expecting it to stay put.

The horrifying and yet God-planned events of Good Friday remind us that God’s plan for our creation and rescue was made before the foundation of the world.

Oh, Lord, how sorry we are that our ways are not Your ways.  May we, Your exiled people, because of this day and Your atoning sacrifice, conduct ourselves with reverent fear. Amen.

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