April 10, 2020
Since we had to cancel our original plans for a Good Friday service, I want to offer a Good Friday Reflection instead.
A dear friend sent me a quote and video that meant something to him, and he thought I might feel the same. I’m sure you have noticed this is happening often these days where loved ones are sharing inspirational resources to lift our spirits. Just as there is more to this coronavirus pandemic than illness and death, there is more to this story of Good Friday. Often, folks ask: “Why do bad things happen to good people? And another question: “Where is God in all this?”
Here is the quote my friend sent. The words were written by James Finley:
God is a presence that protects us from nothing
even as God unexplainably sustains us in all things.
I discovered recently when I shared this quote during a Zoom meeting, there were very mixed reactions to it. Some loved it, and some were simply confused by it. The words convey the paradox of who and what God is for us. Maybe this 3 minute video (click to watch it) will help us to better understand what this quote is conveying.
In this video, Rev. Stephanie Spellers helps us expand our concept of God. One of the reasons I am still a follower of Jesus is that God is a Presence, not a protector. If God is a protector, then God is awful at the job! All one has to do is look around and see the devastating consequences of war, violence, greed and disease. Instead, God is the breath of life (ruach) breathing through us and calling us to love as Jesus loved! When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus offered this response, found in Matthew 22:36-40:
36‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ 37He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” 38This is the greatest and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’
One of the questions I ask myself when confronted with a difficult situation or person in my life is this one: “What would Love do now?” This transforms the situation, allows love to flow through it, and offers a very different scenario from what it might have been had I not asked the question.
No doubt we are all going to face some difficult and challenging situations that arise due to this coronavirus pandemic. There is a mental and spiritual toll that COVID-19 is taking on us all, not to mention the economic hardships that are current and forthcoming.
There is more to this story of Good Friday, a time that appeared to be the end for Jesus and his disciples. But as we know, this was not the end of the story…it was only the beginning!
~ Pastor Matthias Krier