Good Friday: The Passion of the Lord
“Truth!” said Pilate. “What does that mean?”
I woke early this morning to lightning flashes. Soon a storm rolled in on the wings of thunder. The morning is dark, a somber quality that fits the day.
Yesterday’s bright promise also fit: the day active and springing-into-fullness, culminating in the Holy Thursday service when we blessed the oils for the coming year; celebrated the Eucharist; and stripped the altar bare.
That stripping the altar ritual is never empty for me. Even though each week we put everything away and pack up the altar coverings, the act of stripping the altar as part of the service ritual has a very different feel and meaning.
The table is empty. What will fill it?
What is our “truth” of this Easter Triduum? Is our truth focused on the experience Jesus went through – we do our best not to dwell on THAT too long except in the abstract; is our truth focused on Sunday morning’s service with beautiful music and maybe new clothes – or at least spring clothes, thank you. Is there shopping still to do? Where is our focus? What is our truth?
The sky grows darker. The first raindrops hit the window.
My thoughts – my truth if you will – my inner vision – stays on that empty table.
I don’t know what my life would have been had I not believed the Holy acted in my life. In all the many deaths and rebirths I’ve experienced, I believed I was led by Spirit. I had to believe. I had to believe in an inner guiding force that would somehow still be there regardless of the struggle I was going through. Sometimes, hope was all there was.
The willow outside my window twists fiercely in the wind, tossed by life’s rough forces. Rain and wind whack against the house.
What is the truth of this Friday for you? What fills your empty table?
Will you fill it with frustration as the storm makes life difficult? Will you growl and complain at a day lacking bright sun? Are you annoyed at once more grabbing for a jacket? Perhaps the day is clear where you live; will you be too hot, too busy, too distracted?
Or will you take the time to fill your empty table with compassion, with understanding, and with hope?