It's Good Friday, friends.
I see today as an invitation. This is the day we remember the worst execution in our soul's history. This is the day we lean into something greater, deeper and fiercer than we are. This is the day of sorrow, torment and grief. And we would be lacking if we didn't sit in that for a while. We would miss the mark, friends.
The invitation is this: our souls are heavy. We bear great and dark weights. We struggle through relationships, disappointments, heart breaks, trauma and fear. We spend a good portion of our lives sludging through muddy waters. We just keep kicking the mud upwards, until it's swirling around our knees. As hard as we try to walk gently through life, we are bound to stumble over unseen obstacles.
I certainly don't have life, or people, all figured out. I'm often finding myself swimming through dark water, thinking, "How did this happen?". Life is messy. We are messy. Other people are messy.
But messy doesn't mean desolate. We can sit here in our dark corners, hearts locked away and arms crossed across our chests. We can lean into misery and disappointment. We can take up the lament of the thief who hung next to Jesus, crying out for our justification. We can demand and posture and threaten. We can suffer and gasp for air. We can let Good Friday end with the sound of our bruised and battered lips declaring injustice.
We can. But we won't. Not us. Not these brave Wanderers. Not these followers of The Little Way; of THE Way.
Because there is another way to live Good Friday. We can pick up our tossed aside, rightly punished, broken messy selves and surrender them to the cross of the other thief. We can surrender to the Way of Jesus, even if it doesn't make sense to us. We can turn our heads to the silent Lamb. We can lean in, friends, allowing our excuses, justifications and entitlement to drip away. We can let go. We can stop defending and start living. We can open our mouths to this, "Remember me, Jesus, when you come into your Kingdom". We can finally get it - that THE Kingdom is not just right here, right now. THE Kingdom is not how we push others into doing the righteous thing. THE Kingdom is not how we manipulate governments and people groups into following our rules. The Kingdom, His Kingdom, is the road from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. His way is paved with surrender, it is marked by love. His way changes things from the inside out.
You are invited, broken, lost, weary, sinful, muddy, grievous and abandoned to the cross today. You are invited to the road that invokes life. You are invited to lean into the God who would bear your shame as open, raw wounds on his body. You are invited, saved or unsaved, baptized or unbaptized, certain or doubtful. You are invited and there is nothing that could steal that invitation from you. So, come. Enter in. Face your cross and face it well. Know that you will never have to pay the price of life. Know that you are forgiven before you enter. Know that you are enough, as you are. Know that you are rescued. Because don't we all need rescuing?
Let's not hoard our freedom, friends. As you enter in, invite your neighbors. As far as it depends on you, swing open those doors. All are welcome. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
Grace the hill of Good Friday with your open heart.
Sunday is coming, friends.