Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

"'God so Loved the world,' John writes, 'that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.' That is to say that God so loved the world that he gave his only son even to this obscene horror; so loved the world that in some ultimately indescribable way and some ultimately immeasurable cost he gave the world himself. Out of this terrible death, John says, came eternal life, not just in the sense of resurrection to life after death but in the sense of life so precious even this side of death, that to live it is to stand with one foot already in eternity. To participate in the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ is to live already in his kingdom. This is the essence of the Christian message, the heart of the Good News, and it is why the cross has become the chief Christian symbol. A cross of all things--a guillotine, a gallows--but the cross at the same time as the crossroads of eternity and time, as the place where such a mighty heart was broken that the healing power of God himself could flow through it into a sick and broken world. It was for this reason that of all the possible words they could have used to describe the day of his death, the word they settled on was 'good.' Good Friday." - Frederick Buechner

I love Buechner. I love the way he writes, and I love what he has to say. I don't really feel like I can expound to much on what he says without just repeating myself. The first few times I read that passage though, I was struck by the final sentance, how hundreds of years before I even came to be believers chritened this day, Good Friday. That, even though today is marking a death, that we know how the story ends, and thats why we meet. And that without that death, would groups of believers even meet in the same way? While it's a somber occasion, it's also a celebration. It is "Good."

As I read it again this am though, what stuck out to me most was the idea of one foot already in eternity. That eternity isn't something that begins for us after we die. Or after any set event. We are already there. That this life is precious. That we are already participating in the story. And that too, is good.

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