maundy thursday bpc

It’s Good Friday, a day on which our festival takes on a somber tone.  I have been reading updated blogs all week with this day in mind, wondering how our writers are preparing for this week-end of death and resurrection.

As the week began, if you go back to last Saturday, the eve of Palm Sunday, the Syrian president had apparently bombed, tortured, and gassed to death his own people, and the United States had retaliated with missiles aimed at the airfield from which the gas attacks were presumed to have come.  In for the innumerable benefits, Snarky Anglican paused to remind us that, while a wave of nostalgia and the anger it fueled may have swept the current U.S. president into office, “Nostalgia is not the way of Jesus.”  

On Palm Sunday, Martha Spong, who has been blogging through the Gospel of Luke for Lent, noted that with Jesus, tidiness and convenience fall away.  She was talking about widows and orphans, but she was framing an introduction to Holy Week as well: no a system of hierarchy and order threatened by love.

Kristin of Liberation Theology Lutheran shared her Thoughts on the Day After Palm Sunday.  While many were no doubt skipping a usual Monday off in order to complete preparations for the days ahead or to squeeze in a Holy Week funeral, she was also asking what the disciples talked about the day after Palm Sunday, as today we might be asking what they were talking about on Good Friday morning, and whether the events all did happen as told, and all in one week, questions which are a way of asking:  What does it all mean?

During this week of Pontius Pilate, Judas, and Peter, as well as this week in politics and war, and this post-election year, and this century, I am certain that many of us are pondering our own willingness and capacity to respond to incidents which seem to emerge out of nowhere, and yet are often long in the making, if we but has eyes to see.  On Tuesday, Derek pondered the United Airlines incident in his Tales from the Great Adventure, and commented on lessons learned from his own training and experience in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention.

On Wednesday, Lindsay Hardin Freeman in her blog of the same time offered some wise words about Martha-Mary balance, and asked: What might be the one thing busy pastors strive for during this full week, and what might be released?

On Thursday, the Triduum about to begin, Sally offered a prayer in Eternal Echoes, a prayer which might serve each of us well as a devotional each day of this week-end.

And here we are, and it is Friday.  For this day of silent awe, I wanted to find imagery and poetry, and found myself going back two years, to Danny’s Sunshine and Shadows, where a colorful and yet bleak photograph and a favorite R.S. Thomas poem continue to haunt this day.  I leave you with “the untenanted cross,” with the man “testing his faith on emptiness.”

Rev. Robin Craig is a PC(USA) pastor in northeast Ohio.. She is also a spiritual director, a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, and a blogger at http://www.maryrobincraig.com.

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Image: The former Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Euclid OH  ~ 2015.

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