Holy God, we call this day Good, but there is not much good about it. On this day we remember how Jesus was tried and convicted by the sham courts of priests and then Romans. We remember how he was beaten and whipped and mocked and spit upon. We remember how he was forced to carry his own cross up Golgotha where he was crucified. We remember that his crucifixion was gruesome and grim. We remember it all. So there is not much good to remember on this Good Friday because of the evil that was done.
You call us to look upon this evil, and to look upon the evil in our communities and in the world. Every day we are faced with bad news – the evil of the slave trade around the world; the bombings not just in Brussels, but across the Asian and African continents; the ugliness of our current political race; the racism that is still present in our own country and around the world; the violence that is all over the news.
The list goes on and on, seemingly without end. We confess, O God, that sometimes we feel the pain of the evil in your world, but that at other times, we put on our blinders and board up our hearts because it is just too much.
Yet you, O God, are always present, even in the face of evil. You look upon it, and experience pain. You know our pain when we are confronted with it. You stand with us in the midst of all that is evil and terrifying and dismal. You dare evil to try and overcome good. You stare it in the face, knowing that your power is greater than the greatest evil in the creation.
Help us, O God, to confront the evil we experience and see. Help us to not be afraid, but to know our own strength through the power of your Spirit; strength to not look away and ignore that which threatens to overwhelm us. Help us to live lives filled with power and grace, lives in which evil holds no power over us. And help us to confront the evil of the world, whenever and however we can, in your name.
Because evil does not have the last word. Tony Campolo says “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.” On Friday, Jesus made a spectacle of evil; he showed the hatred we are capable of. But he triumphed over that evil with love. Your love, which is greater than anything else, triumphs over evil in all its forms. Your love tramples hatred until it is subdued. Your love and grace will have the last word.
We trust in your love, O God, even as we sit in the darkness of Good Friday.