Tomorrow is Good Friday. It is a day of darkness. A day of shadows. A day of sorrow.
I remember a tenebrae service I attended on Good Friday one year when I lived in Boston. Tenebrae comes from the Latin word meaning darkness, and the service is a worship service of darkness or shadows.
It was intense.It was incredibly powerful. It affected me deeply. Like nothing I had experienced before in my relationship with Jesus.
There was no music. There was little talking. There was growing darkness. There were the words of Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. Of his suffering and shame. Of his pain and his death.
As I absorbed the words of his death, there was a startling cymbal crash.
He had breathed his last.
The sky grew dark.
The curtain tore.
The tomb was sealed.
Hope was stolen.
In tears and silence I made my way home. What was it like, I wondered, to be Peter that day? To be John? To watch Jesus die and take their hope with him?
I cannot imagine what they thought. What they felt. That night, my emotions roiled. I felt raw.
And I knew that Sunday was coming. I knew.
And yet, do I live as if I know? Or do I live like it is Friday and my hope is gone?
I think I do both.
I think I’d like to change that.
But first, I need to contemplate the darkness. The shadows. The silence of God that seemed to follow that last ragged breath that Jesus took.
I want to absorb his death so that I can revel in the Resurrection. And bathe in the Hope. And celebrate in the Victory.
And live the abundant life that is mine in Jesus.