A Homily for Good Friday ~ 2015

On Good Friday we gather because Jesus, the Word made flesh, God incarnate in human form, died.

We gather because God, who chooses to enter fully into humanity through Jesus, gets hung up on a cross.

God, upon entering humanity to feel our muscles and sinew, our emotions and fears, our strengths and our joys, feeling it all first hand; is put to death on a cross.

Jesus died for that.

It is August 9th, 2014 and unarmed 18 year-old Michael Brown is fatally shot beginning the journey of the Ferguson protests and starting to bring light to the continuing of racial oppression and prejudice. People to react and listen and grieve and scream all over the world.

Jesus died for that.

It is April 14th, 2014 and 276 young girls are kidnapped. Most of who continue to be in captivity. Reminding the world that extremism and terrorism and the co-opting of religion for the purpose of harm and horror is trying to debilitate the world.

Jesus died for that.

It is February 2014 when the Ebola crisis begins in West Africa beginning the chaos, tragedy and death of over 10,000 people.

Jesus died for that.

It is December 28th when 17 year-old Leelah Acorn completes suicide because she feels the world will never accept her as a transgendered young girl.

Jesus died for that.

It is November 2nd when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases its final Report, warning that the world faces “severe, pervasive and irreversible” damage from global emissions of CO2. Authors hoping that someone, anyone, any person or any country will wake up.

Jesus died for that.

It is March 24th when 149 people are trapped in the suicide flight of a mentally ill man who drives a plane into the side of the French Alps. Showing us once again that mental illness has a tight, suffocating grip on our society.

Jesus died for that.

Good Friday is the day that we remember the horror of the cross and the horror of the imperfect lives of human beings every where; across time, across cultures, across religions and society.

There is nothing pretty about death on the cross, there is nothing pretty about these stories and there is likely nothing pretty about the times when you to feel the horror, confusion, grief, frustration, and sadness of your hardest days. And although your stories may seem small compared to these stories they are your stories just the same.

And Jesus died for them too.

God is hanging on the cross today with a nail through the left hand, a nail through the right, and a nail extending through the depths of two human feet. God upon entering humanity through the person of Jesus Christ made a decision – a decision that to all of us is impossible, to all of us seems insane – but God did it – God entered humanity to attach god-self to us… to feel our muscles and sinew, our emotions and fears, our strengths and our joys, to feel it all first hand… to experience our horrors, our mistakes, our realities.

And because of that when the horrors of this world and the challenges of your life make you look around and scream out, ‘where is God?’ it is God who begs you to know, depend on, and grasp hold of… the beautiful nails of your faith.

The nail in your left hand, the nail of your right hand, that nail in your feet… the nails placed there by God who says to you and says to humanity… “even in your darkest trials, even as you scream at the horror, even in all of your mistakes, even as you cry in the grief and confusion… I am with you. I have attached myself to you like I attached myself to that cross.

I am with you.

I am with humanity.

I am attached to your muscles, your sinew.

I am attached to your emotion and fear, your strength, your joy, your challenge, your opportunity, your complete and utter mess-ups.

I am with you.

I have nailed myself to you,

through your left hand,

your right hand,

your feet,

your very being,

your very heart…


…because I can love you no other way.


Jesus died for that.