Today is a day of days- it’s Friday! For some, Friday marks the end of the work week- an opportunity to pause from the intense demands of work and recharge. For others, Friday is only the beginning of intense life demands. For some, Friday marks the end of the school week- a time to absorb lessons learned and get reenergized for the next week. For others, Friday is only the beginning of lessons to be learned.
These are momentous moments. And today is no ordinary Friday- it’s Good Friday.
noun: Good Friday
- the Friday before Easter Sunday, on which the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated in the Christian Church. It is traditionally a day of fasting and penance.
Wait…what?! Good Friday?!
noun: crucifixion; plural noun: crucifixions
- the execution of a person by nailing or binding them to a cross.
- the killing of Jesus Christ by crucifixion.
singular proper noun: Crucifixion; noun: the Crucifixion
If this is what happened on Good Friday, I have one question: What’s so “good” about Good Friday?!
- Good Friday is an unfortunate reminder that fear and misunderstanding are real.
- Good Friday uncovers false narratives which would claim that all people treated with respect.
- Good Friday exposes the ugliness of state-sanctioned violence.
There’s no Instagram Filter for Good Friday. Good Friday, unfiltered, is grotesque! #SorryNotSorry #JusticeForJesus
At GLIDE, we know the Good Friday story. We know it well.
- Each day, we encounter people who have been battered by systems of oppression.
- Each day, we stand with those who have been traumatized by violence.
- Each day, we catch the tears of those who feel that they’re life is over.
- Each day, we bear witness to the collateral damage of failed public policies.
- Each day…YOU FILL IN THE BLANK!
Ahhh…but wait…there’s more.
Good Friday is more than a dreadful day- Good Friday is also a Great Friday!
- Good Friday encourages us to forgive- even in the face of persecution.
- Good Friday dares us to have faith- even in our doubt.
- Good Friday invites us to live courageously.
- Good Friday challenges us to love unconditionally.
Good Friday is a difficult day. It exposes hard truths about injustice and oppression. Even so, we embrace the pain of our world (TODAY) and look forward, with hope, as we hold to a timeless message: Love always wins.
Tomorrow is not promised. While I cannot promise that you or I will live to see a brighter tomorrow, I know one thing:
“As you read these words, it’s ALREADY tomorrow…SOMEWHERE!”
I wrote this note to you on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 6:00PM because I believed that Friday would come. I have faith that LOVE ALWAYS WINS because I believe in the power of RESURRECTION that we will Celebrate on Sunday.
Not only do I believe it…I’m counting on it!
With Faith, Hope, & Love,
Rev. Theon Johnson III
The Rev. Theon Johnson III is an Associate Pastor at GLIDE Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco. He came to GLIDE from Mississippi where he served as the United Methodist Campus Minister at Jackson State University. Theon believes that love is a revolutionary force which empowers people to transform the world.
With a background in Philosophy, Religion and Education from Millsaps College, Theon studied Theology and Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, he served as an Advocacy Associate with the General Board of Church and Society on Capitol Hill. Currently, Theon is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership at Jackson State University.