On Good Friday, the church will do the same thing it has done for nearly 2000 years - stand on the sidelines and watch. We will watch a man being tried – his crime being to put God’s love for all people above the establishment’s self-interest. We will watch as he suffers a painful, shameful death.
We will quietly leave church, our heads hung low, and wait. And we will spend the next day or so waiting. We will wait and experience, for just a few brief hours, what it feels like to despair, to be without hope, without God’s presence and love.
On Easter Sunday we will gather together, again doing what the church has done for nearly two millennia. We will bear witness to God’s raising of Christ, we will proclaim again that God’s love cannot be contained by human failings, that it can conquer death and despair. And we will celebrate and rejoice.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday take us first to the depths of despair, and then to the heights of joy. This season is the key to Christian faith. It shows us that through God’s love despair gives way to joy and hope, old life gives way to new. And the best news is … it happens, in ways great and small, every single day.