H/T Rev. Lee F. Shafer, Grace Episcopal Church, Anniston, AL
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”--Lamentations 3:21-24
No doubt, anyone observing Good Friday is likely feeling a little worn out by now. Certainly, I am feeling that way. I have been feeling that way all week. My Good Friday really started ten days ago. Today, kneeling on the hardwood of the church floor and looking up at the wooden cross, I could only hope that Easter is coming.
Good Friday is a tough love kind of day. It's the day of remembering that Christ allowed himself to be put to death in an effort to reclaim us for God. This is Love going to an extreme. This is a man so dependent on Love that he will give up his life in the trust that this is indeed what Love intends. I'm not sure if I can get to that point in my own life. At times, I have put myself that completely into the hands of Love because my soul was able to say, 'The Lord is my portion, therefore I will hope in him." But remaining in that place is not always easy. And, in this way, I have a Peter streak to go along with my inner Jonah.
To get to that point of fully trusting in God I believe is what leads us to walk in Love. When I can surrender my ego, stop willing a certain outcome, or otherwise insist on having control of a situation, I can feel my feet moving more in the direction of Love. That walk will lead me to the cross again and again. But with each crucifixion comes a new resurrection and greater growth and deepening of my understanding of my connection to creation. And each rising again puts me further along the road to God. The crucifixions, painful as they are, do not get to be the final event. They are part of the learning.