Good Friday Meditation
March 30, 2018
John 18: 1-11
Remember? It happened on one of the best days of his life, a really good day. It was the day he was baptized by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water to hear the voice and see the Spirit descending upon him like a dove than it turned into something more like a hawk that drove him, not lead him, but drove him into the wilderness. The wilderness…a place he did not choose, where he was not in control of circumstances and where there, in that barren, dusty, silent place, there was one sound missing: the voice of God.
And now, not in a wilderness but in a garden, Jesus was ready. The wilderness had prepared him for this. Even after he left the wilderness, he carried it around inside of him. And far from fleeing it on this day, this dark day of betrayal and abandonment, he sought it out. We heard these words from John’s account of Jesus’ intention: ‘Am I not to drink the cup that Abba-God has given me?’
We have just come through the wilderness season of Lent, a time when we didn’t need to pretend that life is smooth sailing. Nor did we need to think that something is terribly wrong with us, with others, or with the world if everything didn’t go well, go easy, go just as we had intended. We have confessed the reality of our human circumstance and proclaimed the glorious goodness of God’s intention for us in our Sunday Assembly worship Eucharistic Prayer for the season of Lent: ‘From the desert dust of broken lives, we give you praise O Source of Life, through Jesus, your most holy beloved.’ In that prayer, we recognize that our dusty wilderness is not a place beyond God’s love and care but a place where Jesus is with us, a place where he has been and will be forever.