It’s a Good Friday world! Hatred, bigotry, division, anger, violence, suffering, and death dominate!
Injustice, poverty, disease, exploitation, oppression, political expediency and corruption, religious power plays, and war abound.
Cries, “Crucify him, crucify him,” ring out across the lands.
- “Deport them!”
- “Execute him!”
- “Lock him/her up!”
- “Bomb them!”
Most of the cries for crucifixion are less explicit. They are in the form of attitudes and policies that create disrespect, suffering. and death.
- Vilifying survivors of school shootings for their advocating an end to gun violence
- Making unlimited access to guns more important than human life
- Tax policies that favor the already rich at the expense of the desperate poor
- Healthcare systems that deny the most vulnerable access to treatment
- Churches fostering division, exclusion, hatred, and rejection in name of doctrinal purity
- Tearing families apart under the guise of “protecting our borders”
- Claiming superiority because of our race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religion
- Trusting armaments for security while ignoring God’s justice and mercy as paths to peace
The Crucifixion dramatizes the intrinsic consequences of individual, institutional, and systemic evil. All the forces wreaking havoc in our world were present on that first Good Friday. And it appeared evil had won!
But we know the rest of the story! There is more at work in the world than the evil, suffering, and death that surrounds us!
In Jesus the Christ, God took on all the powers of sin and death. . . .and God won! Easter celebrates God’s everlasting “NO!” to hate, bigotry, exploitation, oppression, deceptive religious and political maneuvering injustice, and violence.
The Resurrection is God’s eternal “YES!” to compassion, mercy, truthfulness, hospitality, generosity, reconciliation, forgiveness, integrity, humility, justice, non-violence, and boundless love!
Easter is a way of life more than a one-day of celebration. It is living God’s “Yes” in this Good Friday world!
- Countering hate with compassion and love
- Welcoming the stranger with hospitality
- Treating ALL persons as beloved sons and daughters of God with inherent worth and dignity
- Seeking reconciliation and unity while shunning division, vengeance, and violence
- Working for policies and practices that enable the least and most vulnerable to flourish
- Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned
- Protecting and nurturing “the least of these” from violence, deprivation, and premature death
- Practicing integrity, honesty, justice, and compassion in private and public life
We can courageously and hopefully live Easter in a Good Friday world! God has already won the decisive victory!
God’s reign of compassion, justice, hospitality, joy, and peace is on its way! It’s already here for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear and courage to act!