Friday, April 10, 2009

Partying It Up

This morning I woke up and it was a sunny day off and it was Good Friday, and I felt that kind of gratitude that you can't drum up yourself--the kind that comes when you realise disaster has been averted and you could in no way have averted it any more than, um . . . an egg could descramble itself. That's a kind of silly simile, but I think it gets the point across.

So I went downstairs and thought, "I am going to make myself a Really Nice Breakfast, to celebrate Good Friday with Jesus." I was about halfway through deciding on the menu for this Really Nice Breakfast before it dawned on me that this is not normally how Christendom, or even this particular Christian, observes Good Friday. I have fasted on Good Friday before. I have been sombre and silent and spent the entire day not talking to anyone unless I went to church at some point during the day, and even then not a whole lot of talking went on. I have seen The Passion of the Christ and (to me the more moving experience of) the Life of Christ at Wintershall in England. I have cried my eyes out during the former and, with an unexpressible mix of emotions almost wiped the blood from Jesus' face in the latter.

This kind of thing is good for me, I think. I would be a pretty calloused individual if I couldn't mourn the part that I myself have played in torturing and denying and betraying and killing God.

But today? I made the Really Nice Breakfast. Because, as is the way with most things Jesus-related, Good Friday is both simple and complex, both a horror and a Good--a paradox. And today I'm celebrating. I'll celebrate the Resurrection on the day I'm "supposed" to, but the fact that God would come down here and sacrifice Himself because I couldn't relate to Him otherwise and He wanted it that much, and the fact that He has called me into the same adventure of sacrifice and forgiveness and joy is such a big deal . . .

Today my dad read me the following over the phone. It says what I mean better than I'm saying it I think:

This table is different. This table of the Lord isn't where sinners find Christ but where sinners celebrate being found …

Maybe some morning, instead of solemnly passing these trays, we should dance for joy. Maybe we should sing every born-again song we know. Maybe we should tell our "homecoming" stories and laugh like people who no longer fear death. Maybe we should ask if anyone wants seconds and hold our little cups high to toast lost sisters found and dead brothers alive.

Lee Eclov, "The Sinner's Feast," PreachingToday.
I propose a toast to that very thing. I don't have to punish myself anymore because my sins killed God--He's the Judge. And He took the punishment. Now I can celebrate that He did. So today I'm toasting Him--and you and me and Life (which would be Him again--did you notice?). You in? Cheers!

2 comments:

Jeff said...

Thanks for so nicely expressing a hard-to-pin down tension:
The tension between appropriate solemnity and between Godly rejoicing.
At a funeral for a Christian friend we were puzzled and challenged by a paralell dynamic: stuck between rejoicing and sadness.

Craver Vii said...

Yes, I'm in. Cheers!

This table of the Lord isn't where sinners find Christ but where sinners celebrate being found …I like how that has a monergistic tone to it. Look at what God has done!

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