Friday, April 22, 2011

I don't have to like it

It's Good Friday, and in Richard Rohr's Wondrous Encounters this morning he was rather adamantly reminding us that "It is indeed a 'good' Friday."

Is it sacreligious of me to say I'm sorry, I'm not buying?  I really find it hard -- although I get the whole "no pain, no gain" thing and the "you have to die to be born again" thing -- to be forced to walk through, yet again, Jesus' agony on the cross.

Rohr says "the central issue at work is the human inclination to kill others, in any multitude of ways, instead of dying ourselves -- to our own illusions, pretenses, narcissism, and self-defeating  behaviors."

Jesus, says Rohr, dies for us, "not in the sense of " in place of" but "in solidarity with,"  and that death serves "as an icon of utter divine solidarity with our pain and our problems... On the cross, the veil between the Holy and the unholy is 'torn from top to bottom' (Matthew 27:51), the 'curtain of his body' becomes a 'living opening' (Hebrews 10:20) through which we all can now walk into the Holy of Holies... the curtain is, and always has been, wide open," he says, and all of that is dramatized in the events we celebrate -- if you can call it that -- today.

I suppose that  bit about the curtain ties in nicely with yesterday's image.  But this piece I did for today -- though I think it has some power, some impact -- well, I don't like it much.  I see it seems to be about confronting death, the numbering of our days, the inevitable rust and decay that must consume.  And while I get that the events of Good Friday are symbolic, and I get that we, too, need to die to -- or maybe kill off -- certain unfortunate and destructive aspects of our psychological make-up ... well... I don't have to like it; I feel like there ought to be a better way.  I accept that there is violence in the world, but I don't have to like it.  And I've never been quite sure I'm comfortable with a faith which has at its dark core this central act of violence; this thirst for blood.  It's kind of like a violent movie; I don't really want to watch.

I'll be glad when Easter comes.

1 comment:

Jane said...

This sermon delivered by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault this past Sunday at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, BC re-frames the Holy Week message to one that places the mystery of love at the center of the Easter story. For me it is a message I can more readily accept and work with.
Here is the link: