On RevGalBlogPals, Sally asks:
1. Of all the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, which one stands out for you, and why?
Over the years this has changed. In my teen years—perhaps because of Jesus Christ Superstar—it was John, with all its wondrous symbolism. In seminary it was Matthew, especially for its Gethsemane scene and its Peter. When I was first in a pastorate it was Luke that I loved to use in all seasons, because of its focus on social justice and the poor. Now I’m happy to have all four gospels and to focus on different things each year.
2.Do you identify with any people in this account, how does that challenge you?
In many ways, I probably identify with Peter and with Judas. Living caught between God’s reign and the reign of the empire, it’s so easy to deny Jesus’ way or even betray it.
3. Hymns or silence?
Though this year the Good Friday service will be built around “irreverent” country and blue grass music and I’m excited about its possibilities, silence is usually my preference.
4. Post a poem or a quote that sums up Good Friday for you?
I immediately think of Denise Levertov’s stuff like “A Calvary Path” and “Tenebrae”, but Levertov’s poetry moves me in so many liturgical seasons that I’ve got to choose Robinson Jeffer’s very dark poem-play “Dear Judas” as a Holy Week piece. The whole piece is a Good Friday piece, but here are two excerpts:
“The Woman: Oh happy
friend: for he must love you if you love him so well:
And maybe you’ve even touched him from day to day,
serving his food or the like: what does he ai at,
Do you think? What can he reach and have rest?
Those that ascend the mountain toward God have none.
And whoever dares in the endless cross-waves of time pilot
Until misfortune wrecks him has none.”
Jesus: “Listen to me now, Judas, and remember.
Because I know your scrupulous heart, and I don’t wish
You to die despairing. There is not one creature,
Neither yourself nor anyone, nor a fly nor flung stone, but
Does exactly and fatally the thing
That it needs must; neither less nor more. This is the roots
5.Is there a tradition you could not be without, a tradition that makes Good Friday, Good Friday?