I was looking over my blog today and thought I should post the meditation I will be using at the community Good Friday Service tomorrow.
It will be my first such event in Fort Thomas. I'm looking forward to the service, and I hope my fellow clergy keep to the two paragraph limit we have been asked to observe. If not, this evening Good Friday service might linger on into the Vigil...
In these two simple words, we are confronted with the stark reality of Jesus real human suffering. Up to this point, He has been the comforting shepherd offering forgiveness and promising eternal bliss, the doting son caring for His mother and best friend, and even the reticent philosopher reflecting openly about God’s ability to act in the physical world. But suddenly we are forced to see Jesus as we see ourselves, wounded, suffering, and exhausted by what life has dished out. From the beating and abuse, Jesus’ strength is at an end and in this pleading moment asks for the one thing that will briefly give him solace, something to drink. Yet as life so often does, it heaps insult upon injury, offering Jesus a stimulant in the form of vinegar, so he might be even more aware of his pain and agony.
In the light of the Passion and Resurrection, this scene becomes symbolic of our own struggles within fallen humanity. In only a small way, we too suffer injury and pain, malice and contempt from many corners of our earthly pilgrimage. Whether it be unemployment, a broken home, an abusive spouse or addiction, we expect the best in life only to be reminded we live in a less than perfect world. It is unfortunate that in the midst of strife, our humanity often looks in all the wrong places to find that which will quench our thirst. Reflect with me for a moment. When in your own life have you sought comfort from trouble only to find yourself deeper in the hole? In our sorrowful moments, we do well to look upon the one who said, “I thirst,” and remember His words to the Samaritan women. “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again.”