For Good Friday (via Dave Lull) a meditation from National Review on Holy Week by the late D. Keith Mano:
Again, I think not. God prefers, when He can, to conserve terrestrial order. He has a dramatic instinct. And His own peculiar unities. The Passion is as naturalistic as frail wrist tissue shredded by a spike. Jesus could ferment water. He could infinitely divide the loaf and the fish. But here He had need of a furnished apartment. His colt might have come about providentially, as Abraham’s ram came about, caught in some thicket. But God wanted a known colt: one that had memorable references in Jerusalem. It was His purpose to leave a clear and historical track behind — evidence that might stand up in court. The presence of transcendent power among modest instruments is more persuasive than any bullying miracle could be.
He is risen!
It almost seems sacrilegious to say that this Good Friday (a name that’s purposely paradoxical), is a particularly good Friday for me. But so it is. This is the day of my manumission, the day my chains were loosed. I uploaded my completed capstone project today. Assuming I don’t fail (which is always possible, if unlikely), I’m done with graduate school forever.
If anybody wants me to get a doctorate, they can get me an honorary one.
Now comes the uneasy transition to civilian life. Today I mostly vegged out on the sofa, still feeling the vague guilt any graduate student always feels, when they’re not doing school work.
Well, it wouldn’t do to celebrate too much, on Good Friday.
Speaking of which, Michael Card:
Tissot, “The Sorrowful Mother”
It’s a darker than usual Good Friday for me. I just got word that my boss, the dean of our seminary, a gentle and godly man, passed away suddenly today. He just wrote me a recommendation for graduate school. It must have been one of the very last things he did in his office.
He sat across from me in my office about a week ago, and we discussed our ages. I said I was pretty old to start working for a Master’s. He said, “I’m a decade older than you, and I’m not planning to go anywhere.”
Is it good to die on Good Friday? A complicated question, as is the whole matter of “Good” Friday.
As far as I can tell, there are two major ways of explaining evil in the world (outside of the popular view that “it’s all garbage, so let’s just have a good time until we die”) today. One is what might be called the Buddhist Way, which understands evil to be an illusion, because existence itself is an illusion, so there’s no point getting upset.
The other is what I’ll call the Christian Way (though there are probably non-Christians who hold it in some variety). That way calls for citing the Old Testament statement that “God is a Man of War,” and believing that evil is real, but that He is in the process of defeating it.
Both ways have their problems, and cannot be proved by logic or science. But I know which suits me better. Continue reading Why it’s not called “Very Bad, No Good, Horrible Friday”
Thanks to Andrew Peterson for his great music.
Photo credit: Nevit Dilmen
“Please, may we come with you—wherever you are going?” said Susan.
“Well—ʺ said Aslan and seemed to be thinking. Then he said, “I should be glad of your company to-night. Yes, you may come, if you will promise to stop when I tell you, and after that leave me to go on alone.”
“Oh, thank you, thank you. And we will,” said the two girls.
Forward they went again and one of the girls walked on each side of the Lion. But how slowly he walked! And his great, royal head drooped so that his nose nearly touched the grass. Presently he stumbled and gave a low moan.
“Aslan! Dear Aslan!” said Lucy, “what is wrong? Can’t you tell us?”
“Are you ill, dear Aslan?” asked Susan.
“No,” said Aslan. “I am sad and lonely. Lay your hands on my mane so that I can feel you are there and let us walk like that.”
And so the girls did what they would never have dared to do without his permission but what they had longed to do ever since they first saw him—buried their cold hands in the beautiful sea of fur and stroked it and, so doing, walked with him. And presently they saw that they were going with him up the slope of the hill on which the Stone table stood. They went up at the side where the trees came furthest up, and when they got to the last tree (it was one that had some bushes about it) Aslan stopped and said,
“Oh, children, children. Here you must stop. And whatever happens, do not let yourselves be seen. Farewell.”
–C. S. Lewis, Chapter XIV, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Lyrics from “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”
Now from Thy cheeks has vanished their color once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished the splendor that was there.
Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.
My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!
What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.
Be Thou my consolation, my shield when I must die;
Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,
My heart by faith enfolds Thee. Who dieth thus dies well.