In Christian confession, Good Friday is the day of loss and defeat; Sunday is the day of recovery and victory. Friday and Sunday summarize the drama of the gospel that continues to be re-performed, always again, in the life of faith. In the long gospel reading of the lectionary for this week (Matthew 27:11-54), we hear the Friday element of that drama: the moment when Jesus cries out to God in abandonment (Matthew 27: 46). This reading does not carry us, for this day, toward the Sunday victory, except for the anticipatory assertion of the Roman soldier who recognized that Jesus is the power of God for new life in the world (verse 54). Given that anticipation, the reading invites the church to walk into the deep loss in hope of walking into the new life that will come at the end of the drama.
Touched your hem / A thousand times / A face just / Beyond my sight / Space between / Grace, grief
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she says, that is not God’s, and we approach
a crow ripping the entrails
of a truck-crushed fox, and the crow flees
The hospital chaplain who sits in the room of a sick child
in Chicago and brings the child to God—not with words
but by her quiet presence.