Friday Happened…Now What?

It is early Saturday morning as I write this post. It is the day of unknowing, riddled with fear. The disciples watched their teacher die the cruel death of an insurrectionist. He was lifted up on a cross to be shamed and to serve as a reminder of what happens to anyone who dares to speak truth to power.

The soldiers would undoubtedly come for them next.

It is hard to truly connect to the space the disciples inhabited on that horrible Saturday. I sit here in my comfortable home, in a relatively safe, middle-class suburban neighborhood, shielded by my white privilege and the bliss of the blindness that it affords me. I can’t relate to their particular type of pain and fear, because I don’t have to.

Yet, I must try.

Last night I had the privilege to participate in a Good Friday service that attempted to create a holy space through art. It was our goal to create a portal in which the participants could join the crowd in Jerusalem as they observed Jesus carry his cross and make the painful journey to his own death.

Kent led the Messengers in music that haunted us and challenged us. Pastor Angela read scripture and crafted prayers that took us to each scene and caused us to hold our breath. Krister and Piper helped me create ten images that tried to offer a snapshot of each painful moment. Each of these artistic movements–music, words, and drawing–were physical acts of prayer, desperately trying to reach across the centuries and enter into that moment.

We left the room with the sound of Sam’s rich voice and words of the Lumineers song “Nobody Knows” clinging to us like a dark cloud…

Nobody knows how the story ends
Live the day, doing what you can
This is only where it began
Nobody knows how the story ends
Nobody knows how the story ends

We, two thousand years later, do know how the stories of the Gospels end. Jesus comes back to life. God entered into the darkness of our fear, hatred, and violence in order to absorb it and show us the more excellent way. Love wins! Forgiveness is the only thing that overcomes evil.

The disciples did’t know that on Saturday.

While we do live on this side of Easter, these haunting words also remind us that the story isn’t over. God’s creative power is continually unfolding and inviting us to walk into the Promise of New Life. But, that’s tomorrow’s story.

For now, I sit in Saturday. I pray for the courage to follow Jesus and speak truth into corrupt systems and nail my own small self, my self-protective ego, to the cross. I want to speak with the Apostle Paul who said, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:19-20).”

I also want to thank Jill Blair for taking these photos of the images we created last night.

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