This is this week’s reflection from our parkology lent series (if you’re interested in following some of the series, you can find it over on the parkology blog)
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
I remember going to our Good Friday services as a child wondering why we were all acting so serious when we knew that Good Friday wasn’t the end of the story. I got that what happens to Jesus on the cross is at once tragic and yet beautiful. I got that we needed to remember the importance of that moment – but why anymore so than every day of the year? It’s almost as if we forgot that Sunday always follows Friday!
As I grew older, though, I realised that this is all part of the rhythm of life that we’ve talked about before here – that we need to set aside time to reflect on the events of that first ‘Good’ Friday, and the utter desolation that those who were closest to Jesus must have felt.
We need to remember that as well as good in faith, there is also difficulty and despair. But not forgetting that for every Good Friday, there is the promise of a Easter Morning – however distant that may seem. Death is beaten. The cycle of life is overturned. Something else happens. Hope wins.
We need to be reminded that life is fragile, that we need to make best use of the years we have to do the best we can to be part of the kingdom of God coming here and now. Focusing too much on what happens to us after we die tends to lead us to forget about the life we’re meant to bring to all we come into contact with every single day. Somehow like forgetting about the years Jesus spends teaching and just thinking about one week of his short life.
And so, today, we meditate on the darkness of a day in which God is left hanging on a cross. Abandoned. Forsaken. Yes, resurrection is just around the corner, but let’s just dwell here for a short while.
Let’s not rush away from it. Death is, after all, an inevitable part of life. But this death – well, this death is all about life.
Let us remember why we live.
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…
Take 5 minutes out of today and watch/listen to this. It’s old school, but it’s good.
Grace and peace,