Good Friday, April 10th, 2020
On this Good Friday, in her devotional Rev. Sam ask readers to look inward at themselves and ask the question; what are you doing in the name of piety and literalism that leads you to the crucifixion and removal of real people, just as the Jews did to Jesus. The Jews did not want the bodies to be left on the crosses mostly because of hurting their “image.” They were also preparing for the Sabbath and to have those bodies, the body of Jesus left hanging would have profaned the sabbath so they made a request to Pilate to have the legs of the crucified broken and to have the bodies removed. My guess is that the Jews also wanted them removed so they could free their own burdens of seeing what they had done. They had crucified the promised Messiah.
During the season of Lent we embark on a journey of self reflection along with Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. When we choose to go on this journey, we are opening ourselves up to new possibilities and a reckoning of self to servanthood with Jesus. It can be easy and natural to develop a narrow view given our limited perspective. But if we are willing to open ourselves up to the power of the Holy Spirit and widen our field of vision to include others, we can grow in ways we never thought possible.
The world pandemic of COVID-19 has in many ways brought the world together for a common purpose. It is through devastating situations such as natural disasters and illnesses, when we see what is true, what is good and people win. Not, countries, nations, ethnic groups, political parties…just people. COVID-19 does not distinguish between race, religion, class, sex, education, rich or poor… We are all God’s children, and when we start seeing the world through the eyes of Jesus, we can more acutely form a theology closer to God’s and the cross. What is your theology? I was once ask that question by someone very dear to me. If I recall, I gave an answer similar to my conversion story. Coming to know God in a personal way, admitting that I am a sinner and God created me with purpose and Jesus died for me. After, reading this devotional today and experiencing Maundy Thursday service I know that my answer was well, incomplete at best. I hope that my theology keeps growing and expanding. It is through our life experiences and conversations with others we continue to more fully live into the life that God created for us. So, the question that Rev. Sam says we must continually ask ourselves is, “For whose sake are we practicing theology?” If it is not for the sake of every beloved child of God, it is not a theology of the cross.
The theology of the Cross or staurology is a term coined by the theologian Martin Luther to refer to theology that posits the cross as the only source of knowledge concerning who God is and how God saves.
References for Theology of the Cross:
Are the spiritual disciplines you are doing out of obligation, or are they shaping and molding you from the inside out?
Consider finding a Good Friday or stations of the Cross online service to watch.
ειρήνη – “Peace” in Greek, reference listed below.