For The Someday Book

Footsore on Good Friday

Posted on: April 2, 2010

It’s the end of the night on Good Friday, and I am aching and exhausted. Just like I always am on this night. And it just feels right.

Ever since I have been in ministry, the churches I have served have participated in a long walk through the city as part of their Good Friday commemoration, in addition to a traditional solemn service of prayer and passion. On the day of Jesus’ great suffering, we draw close to the places of poverty and suffering in our own community, and pray for the ministries of healing that take place there. The walk is a physically demanding exercise at the end of a full and often sleepless week of preparation for Holy Week services.

It adds an element of physical exhaustion to the typical emotional exhaustion I feel in response to the stories of the Last Supper and the Passion. Preaching and praying and being present in the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services leaves me feeling emotionally raw and grief-stricken.

Every Good Friday night I come home and collapse, my spirit wrung out and my feet throbbing and grimy from the city. Not that my suffering should be compared to Christ’s suffering, but I feel like it’s just right for this day, like the experience somehow puts me in touch with the mind and hearts of the disciples that loved Jesus so long ago. I can’t imagine spending the day in a spa, or eating a luxurious meal, or anything of the sort. This is just the way it should be. I guess that’s why I’m in the business I’m in.

Tomorrow, like always, I will wake up only slightly more rested and journey to church to help decorate the sanctuary for Easter, then work on finishing my Easter sermon, still feeling the rawness and the exhaustion of it all. But that’s how it should be.

I love waking up on Easter morning dragging my feet and just waiting for it all to be over, then discovering when the last hymn is sung and the benediction offered on the morning service that I wish we could do it all over again that afternoon. It’s like I discover the power of God’s resurrection and new life all over again.

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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