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The Irony of Good Friday: a prayer

April 19, 2019

Kaitlin Curtice leads you and me in this prayer today —

Jesus,
There was something about you there on that cross, that Good Friday.
There was something about your body there, about your manner.
Irony of all ironies, you were the “Son of God,” sent back to God by crucifixion.

You were the “King of Kings” hanging between two thieves.
We do not understand it, just as those onlookers probably didn’t understand it then.
You lived a life of irony.
You spent time with people like those thieves, called them good and wanted.
You stood at wells with women who had never had their voices heard before.
You told people to stop their cooking and cleaning to listen to the Spirit.
You turned the world upside down.

And perhaps the most ironic thing was that day on the cross,
that dark day when you cried out of your human parts, “Why have you forsaken me?”
And you cried out with your Savior parts, “Forgive them, they don’t understand this.”

Irony of all ironies is that the darkest Friday is called good,
because though it put you in the tomb, it brought you back again.

So while we may or may not fast,
while we may or may not understand
every aching moment of that day,
we understand the irony of your life,
the irony of your death,
the irony of your grace,
that simply undid everything we’d done.

And you still undo us today.

So we fast and pray,
and in our attempts to understand,
we stop and say that we will never quite grasp
the greatest irony of all:
that you take us in our tired skin and bones
and tell us we’re worth
all the ironies of the cross.

You tell us we’re worth
the holes in your wrists and feet,
we’re worth the hours of agony,
the feverish skin
and the tired soul.

You tell us we’re worth
the afternoon spent in darkness,
the last labored breath,
and the watching eyes of the people who
came to see you crucified.

Irony of all ironies,
you call us worth it—
the lifetime of listening
and healing
and teaching the world
that everything is different than we thought it was.

There was something about you there on that cross, that Good Friday.

Jesus, may we spend the rest of our days trying to find out what exactly it was.

Amen.

 

 

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