So we went along to an Hour before the Cross service earlier on which Adventure Bloke was leading. In between keeping the Adventurous Pair separate and relieving Adventure Boy of a smuggled in Pick Up Stick (you'd be amazed how much creativity one eight year old can achieve with one Pick up Stick) I found something resonating deep in my spirit.
I've not been finding much of that kind of resonation (is that a word?) of late. It's all been a bit...meh. I'm not sure why, but I've been somewhat lethargic in prayer and in belief in general, despite trying. Sometimes we just have to keep taking one step after another, despite things not seeming to happen, and that's what it's been like. I could ponder for a while on why we have seasons like this, which are in all honesty fairly rubbish, but I won't, because I simply want to rejoice at the wonder that is Good Friday and let my spirit a bit free again. It's Nice.
When Adventure Bloke was reading the reflections some words struck me as being so profound. Talking about the moment Jesus died, he referred to this moment not being all beautiful and glorious, but being steeped with misery, loneliness and isolation, of being forsaken by his Father. Things didn't suddenly get wonderful. Not only had Jesus taken every sin, every sadness, every bit of man's inhumanity to man, every tear, every loneliness, every call in the dark upon himself, but on top of this was faced with a sudden and utter desolation, that of separation from God. I suppose this is why we can know God is indeed in this mess with us. Jesus actually knows. He did it all and he knows. He isn't standing by someone's hospital bed saying in cliched manner 'I really know how you feel', because he actually does know. And in a deeper way than anyone else possibly can. This is part of the mystery of his death.
It amazes me and has floored me anew today. I have times when I feel God has departed and wonder where he has gone, especially in times of acute physical illness, but Jesus actually experienced God really departing. We'll never experience that, God will always be with us - even when we don't feel it. Our faith is in God as present with us. We have an amazing hope.
So I think Good Friday was and is pretty good really. I think God did something about the suffering in the world and continues too. I think God suffered in a totally inexplicable and profound way we can only begin to glimpse. But those glimpses give us something to hold on to, to hope, to keep taking those steps.
And I can't wait for Sunday.