Don't skip ahead

Good Friday

A brief guide to meditating on the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John

You can change where you’re going.  But you can’t change where you’ve come from.

This is where we’ve come from: a place where death is real.  A place where pain is real.  A place where betrayal and fear are very real.

You don’t have to have lived much in this world to know that that is true.  But we come from a faith that isn’t afraid to acknowledge and hold that truth.  We don’t seek out the suffering – but that’s because we don’t have to.  But we don’t run from it or ignore it, either.

There are expressions of faith that only look for the good things – the uplifting, happy things.  But we know that joy and celebration and warm feelings aren’t enough to reflect the fullness of a life well-lived – and certainly not of a life lived in Christ.  Christ was uplifted.  But before Christ was uplifted into heaven, Jesus was uplifted on the cross.

We all know that this isn’t the end of the story.  But it’s important that we don’t skip ahead.  Because this is as much a part of where we’ve come from as all the rest.  There is wisdom and growth to be had, even from this.  Even if it hurts a little – even if it makes us uncomfortable, standing in this moment with Christ, crucified has value.  How will this – this experience of standing with Christ now, in this moment, change where you’re going?  Because that’s really what this has all been about: building a new path.  On the foundation we have, to be sure, but even still – new.

This is where we’ve come from.  Now, where will we go?