Good Friday


{This is the last in a series of forty Lenten reflections loosely based on ideas suggested by mugs found in the Kellam kitchen cupboard. As I wrote on the first day, this exercise was designed only for my pleasure. The discipline of writing each day has taken a couple of hours out of the 24, and has further frayed the already worn edges of the pages of J. I. Rodale’s The Synonym Finder. I know I’ll miss this daily practice, but I will be glad to have the time for something else…like springtime.}SONY DSCThe first mug I wrote about was a commercially-produced coffee cup with the name “Jeff” on it, along with a kind of greeting card verse about what “Jeff” means. Now, on the last day of these forty days in Lent 2017, I turn to another mug with my name on it. It’s the companion to one with my wife’s name similarly inscribed. We were given these mugs by the Bick family when we left Richmond, Virginia after some 27 years. The Bicks were our neighbors and members of our church. I trust that they did speak for all our Richmond friends by expressing their love. We still treasure the mugs and the message.

Does that mug “fit” this day? Does it have context? Today, the Saturday between Good Friday and the Day of Resurrection, is certainly “the day between the days.” This last day of Lent is non-descript for most Presbyterian-types. We know it has deep meaning, but we don’t pay much attention to it, as we await tomorrow’s sunrise service, with its shivering little congregation gathered amid tombstones in the church cemetery hoping the sun will actually be visible on what is predicted to be a rainy day. And then later, in the church itself, we will sing lustily (pardon the expression) and find ourselves accompanied by brass players and pipe organ. We will hear the Good News of the Gospel (pardon the redundancy) proclaimed, add flowers to the bare wooden cross, and break out the Lenten-hid alleluias (pardon still another parenthesis, but that word shouldn’t have been typed/seen/spoken/sung until tomorrow. Sorry. OK, enough with the pardons!)

But today is just Saturday. Some call it “black Saturday,” because of the solemn mood of sadness or defeat that followed the day of crucifixion. Others refer to it as Holy Saturday, or Easter Eve. Many years ago, Joan and I participated in our first Easter Vigil, a three or four-hour service that chronicled the Biblical story of “salvation history.” There was music, drama, graphic and fabric art, the reading of Scriptures, with prayers and accompanying liturgy rich with spiritual depth. It was a powerful service, difficult to transport back home from the conference we were attending. But many Christian communities around the world do something similar on “Easter Eve,” some even longer services, most shorter; but all designed to keep the rich meaning of God’s grace and love and Presence in focus, so worshippers could move from Good Friday to Easter knowing the all-important context of what some refer to as cross and crown.

So, I’ve been writing about mugs, have I? But this series hasn’t been about ceramics, fair trade coffee, favorite teas, or how to use drinking vessels as marketing tools. The context has been Lent, a time of preparation, of anticipated spiritual growth. As days lead from the ashes of that first Wednesday to the dust of the Emmaus Road, some of us added mid-week gatherings of worship and/or study; many used Lenten devotional guides such as the one on the Kellam dining table, Walter Brueggemann’s A Way Other than Our Own*; Lenten disciplines included service projects, lectio divina, labyrinth walks, special music, and giving up Mountain Dew. All in the context of the Lenten journey of Jesus, a wilderness time of testing and surviving, a prelude to his life’s symphony of compassion, outreach, healing, and teaching. His was a life and death by which we measure our time on this God’s earth.

[* Brueggemann’s take on this day: Saturday is that in-between day of stillness and doubt and despair when time stands still in lethal flatness.]

In relying on mugs to get me started writing each day, I’ve kept context in mind. The context of the season, the context of following Jesus, the context of my own day-to-day existence. Some days are, sadly, a big waste of time. Or, seem like it to me. I make that confession as I fall asleep those nights. “Forgive me, Lord. Didn’t do much for you or your people today. Wasted time and gifts. As the Psalmist prayed, ‘Put a new and right spirit within me,’ and offer me another day.” On those other days, my personal context is that of being and serving in a community of faith, and some opportunity pops up unexpectedly. Or, maybe it’s a family thing, where I find unconditional love so vital and energizing, that my prayers at night are full of thanksgiving. We all have some context in which we find ourselves– or are found.

Context is the weaving together of things that yearn to be connected. My life and someone’s need; my gifts and someone’s lack; my lack and their gifts. Faith and life. Daily living and revelation! Our purpose and the Shepherd’s guidance. Mugs and Lent. The context of a neighborhood, politics, (don’t get me started), local church or national denomination, the cloud of war or threat of terrorism, a child’s trusting eyes. Temptations, sin, dark thunderhead clouds hanging over. Context.

So, I wrote about mugs in the context of Lent. But more, in the context of my life. And if you have read some of these reflections (to call them meditations may be too generous), you know a lot about the man whose name is on the mug at the top of this day’s blog. You know something of my family, my church life and ministries, where I’ve lived and places I’ve been, what I believe, and — heck, even the name of our everyday china!

But, again, I haven’t been writing for you. I’ve been writing for me. I may know who you are. WordPress tells me who’s “following” my writing here, and others have happened by and sent private responses with names attached. But I’m guessing that if this writing stays “up” in some Internet cloud somewhere, I have no idea who you are. That said, the question is, do you know who you are? Now early in my 70s, I’m getting there. Knowing who I am, that is.

Today, the context is somewhere between the shadow of yesterday’s cross and the rising sun of tomorrow’s Light of the World. I have to admit, that I have had more than my share of that Light already. Grace has encompassed me. Love has surrounded me. Read that mug again! And God has gifted me with a strong family from which I have come and a beloved family I have helped to nurture. My wife, my children, and now my grandchildren. Wow! Plus, there was that Call…my vocation… full of exclamation points! (<There’s one now.)

The Apostle Paul once quoted a Greek poet as he preached a sermon in Athens. He referred to God as the one “in whom we live, and move, and have our being.” There. That’s context. I am content in that context.

Yet, there is still tomorrow!

There is a new context that awaits, something downright cosmic, earth-shattering, mind-blowing, a whole new song to sing…there is tomorrow!

There will be Easter!

 

 

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DSC07427{Lent 2017…Good Friday…nearly finished in this series, and this is the penultimate mug of the forty…}

This mug was handmade by a North Carolina potter whose initials are written on the unglazed bottom surface with a Sharpie. We got this at the Montreat Conference Center. Though posed by the coffee pot, it’s never held my coffee, nor Joan’s tea. Its purpose is more decorative than practical. Like the crosses that hang in churches and around our necks. The design on the mug is the logo of the Presbyterian Church in the USA. Central in the symbol is the cross, though the initiated can also find symbols of flames, dove, font, open Bible…Word and Sacraments and Spirit.

I suppose it’s obvious that I chose this mug for today, Good Friday, because of the cross. This particular art work masks the violence of the executioner’s work and the tools it took to kill. We see the cross shape, but not the rough-hewn wood, the heavy spikes driven into flesh, the blood stains.

I write these reflections in a bookcase-surrounded nook off the front hall of our home, and as I look around, I can count nine crosses here. And one Celtic cross around my neck. None is daunting. Each has a story: where it came from, who made it or gave it, what its particular design means.  Two wooden ones were made by children from my last church, another handmade by a woodworker from the church we now call home, and others of metal, plastic, or wood came from various places that hold special memories. Most are rather plain, but the one from Central America is predictably full of color, with cartoonish flowers, birds, a little home beneath a verdant tree, even a bunny! It’s a celebration of life.

But none of those crosses holds a broken, bleeding, and bowed body. None is a crucifix. All are empty.

I do have one crucifix in a small box near my alb and stoles, however. On a sturdy chain, that cross was given to me by a church member who had traveled in Rome and thought I would like it, coming as it did from the seat of the Church’s early power. Ordinarily we Protestants prefer to see the empty cross as a Resurrection symbol, rather than focusing on the passion and pain of the crucifixion. Even on this day, this day of days, this day curiously called “good,” many Protestants will let the day go by with no special worship services, little (if any) attention paid to the death of Jesus at the hands of the empire. We leave the Stations of the Cross to the Catholics and Episcopalians. While there are some communities that have ecumenical gatherings on Good Friday, it’s been my experience that attendance by Protestant folk is sadly lacking.

Palm Sunday? Yes, we get to parade and sing “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” and get a free palm to take home. A far fewer number will be at church for the Maundy Thursday communion service. But Easter Sunday! Lots of attention there…all good…big crowds…upbeat, joyful, and downright brassy! Good Friday, though. Kind of depressing. Really dark. We’d rather go from joy to joy and skip the hard truths of the Passion.

When I was in high school back in the early 1960s and living in a heavily Catholic community, public schools took a day off on Good Friday. May as well, they thought. The Church pretty much demanded its adherents be in church on Good Friday, so why battle the resulting truancy? Our Presbyterian Church joined with other Protestant churches in the neighborhood offering a three-hour “Seven Last Words from the Cross” service. Seven sermons and the scripture lessons that fed them, a few hymns, some prayers, and the concluding reviews. (As in, “Which minister did you like best?” )

When I served a church in suburban Richmond, we too offered that service for a time. I’d be assigned one of the words, almost always wishing it had been one (any) of the others. (The grass is always greener…) If I were to choose one for this Good Friday blog, I’d go with the passage from John 19:30, where the crucified Jesus, having been offered sour wine after saying he was thirsty, cries out– or moans– “It is finished.”

I might speak about how his public ministry had begun at a wedding feast where, when the wine had run out, he mysteriously turned water into the best wine of the celebration. And now, as he is dying, wretchedly sour wine is offered to him in response to his thirst. Some scholars discount the physical thirst of a man so close to death. They suggest that Jesus’ expression is more a metaphorical longing for God. But, as usual, he is misunderstood, and he is given bad wine. Shortly after, he says, “It is finished.” “Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” Finished? What was finished?

In a previous verse, the scriptures have that “it” referring to “everything,” or “all things.” A. E. Harvey notes that Jesus’ life and work “was a perfect unity, a work to be finished and a destiny to be accomplished.” I like that. In that moment, about to gasp one last breath, Jesus announces that all is ended. Complete.

Still…the word “it” needs commentary. And our good friend from Montreat days, retired professor Lamar Williamson, is so helpful here. In his book Preaching the Gospel of John, he writes:

First, in laying down his own life, Jesus has completed what he was sent to do. He has revealed the true nature of God and on the cross has demonstrated God’s love…Second, the Scriptures are fulfilled…The death of Jesus has filled with meaning and brought to their intended end the passages of Scripture that speak of him. Third, Jesus’ earthly life is now over, as the end of the verse states explicitly.

Perhaps his executioners thought Jesus’ words meant something else. Like, this one’s over; let’s move on to the next victim. Or, well…that’s that. His pathetic reign is over. That should quiet the anti-Rome movement for awhile, until the next threat to Caesar pops up somewhere among the Zealots. And maybe even the followers of Jesus who dared stand vigil at the foot of the cross misunderstood. Maybe they thought the movement of love, grace, forgiveness, welcome, hope, inclusivity, and justice was “finished.” Period. All Jesus had taught the inner circles, preached to the crowds, lived to its fullest– all that talk of blessedness, the parables of God and humanity yearning for one another, ministering to the hungry of heart and stomach, the lessons validated through healings– it’s over. Done with.

But no. While indeed he had then “bowed his head and gave up his spirit,” while the broken body was unpinned from the crossbars and carried away to a borrowed (and temporary) tomb, not all was ended. Not by a long shot.

Flowers still grow in the garden near the grave.

 

 

DSC07426.JPG{The last few days of Lent, and the last few mugs to write about. It’s more than a discipline of writing; I have to actually think, too.}

Our daughter Wendy gave this mug to my wife Joan. What a nice way to begin the morning! Pull the mug out, heat up the water, make some tea, and be reminded, “You are loved.”

We are reminded of that fact every time someone expresses love in words, especially when those words come from the heart and not a mere ritual. An embrace, a caring or empathetic look, a phone call or a note — reminders come regularly, or maybe at just the right time. You are loved. Even maybe when you are not particularly lovable. That may be the real test of authentic love, don’t you think?

You’ve said something a little hurtful, or neglected to say the right thing, or perhaps somehow offended. But your transgression didn’t break the bond of love. You are loved, still. And anyway. Because, as the Apostle Paul wrote to that often unlovely church in Corinth a couple of millennia ago, “Love is patient and kind…it bears all things.” Paul’s song of love has more to it, as you know if you’ve ever been to a wedding. He wasn’t writing about marriage, but we preachers seem to lock on to that 1 Corinthians 13 passage for most of the weddings we do. Just before the vows, we read, “So faith, hope, and love remain. But the greatest of these is love.”

True. Even though back in the ’70s brides and their grooms wanted to have “Evergreen” sung during the ceremony. “Love,” the song opened, “soft as an easy chair.” Uh-uh. No match for the Apostle’s poetry. Because sometimes, love, authentic love, isn’t soft at all It’s tough.

I’ve known at least two families where love meant locking a loved one out of the house. Driving to a church meeting many years ago, a mother in our congregation broke through the mundane conversation we were having about some church tidbit, and told me that she had had to change the locks on her house to keep her daughter from coming home. Her young adult daughter was an addict, had dropped out of treatment more than once, and needed to lean on her Mama for money, housing, and food. Her mother’s own support group had advised the “tough love” policy, and she told me in the car that night that she had to do what she had to do. No emotion. No regret. Sadness, yes. But for her own mental well-being, and for her daughter’s best chance at eventual recovery, without second thoughts, she would no longer open the door or answer the phone if it was her beloved (yes, still) daughter.

That’s tough, all right. More recently, I heard a father describe the same situation with his son. “If I can’t come in, can you at least give me something to eat?” No. “Well, then…toilet paper? I’m living on the streets, Pop!” No. Because, “You are loved. Some day, if you survive this, you will understand.”

Haven’t enough words been written about love? More than enough. Some powerful and poetic; but many more pretty mushy and trite. Just listen to the loves songs on the charts today. Or, yesterday. Why write more? Why read mine?

Maybe because of the Stevie Wonder song I referenced here recently. From the “Songs in the Key of Life” album, he sang, “Love’s in Need of Love Today.” Not more silly love songs, but true expressions of love, in all its power and toughness and determination and heartfelt compassion for the other.

I think about those two parents who needed to summon the toughest love to try to bring about the salvation of their young adult kids. How did love begin in their life together, the life of infant and parent? We learn love as children who receive and share in love unconditionally, no strings attached, so full of grace, so pure, untainted, honest: infants so warmly and affectionately embraced, as we wonder at the miracle of that tiny life with its clear, bright eyes, a body so vulnerable. That love comes so naturally. No games to play here, no bargaining, no conditions laid down, as later when an angry parent begins making threats that imply love will be withheld until terms are met. (Please…that is not the tough love referred to above; it’s more the “Santa won’t come if you don’t start behaving!!” thing.)

Part of the miracle of that early love that children learn is this: before the child knows his or her name or recognizes a face or understands a relationship, the child can sense the security of the parents’ love. And receiving it and sensing it, the child will learn to return it, a lifelong mutually empowering, unconditional bond parent to child, child to parent. That is, when things turn out as they should… which they sometimes don’t.

That mug in the photo, given by a beloved daughter to a beloved mother, might have said, “I love you” on it. And that would have been nice. But I like the words that are there: You are loved. Though in the passive voice, it’s a more broad, even cosmic affirmation, that says, “I love you, and so do many others, and so does the universe, and so does God.” Think about it. You. Are. Loved.

You have done many things, perhaps, to earn or deserve that love. But that is not why you are constantly, consistently, and forever loved. Love goes beyond the reasons. It is not a reward. Yes, unreasonable love. Maybe the only kind there is.

As we enter Holy Week, think of the love between God and humanity. Tough love that saves. The earliest verse many young Christians memorize is the same one held up on signs at athletic events: John 3:16. “For God so loved the world…” Us. And one of the first things we teach children in Sunday School is a three word creed: God is love.

That unconditional love is known by the Greek word agape [ἀγάπη]. One way to describe it comes from C. S. Lewis in his book The Problem of Pain. He writes:

But God’s love, far from being caused by goodness in the object, causes all the goodness the object has, loving it first into existence, and then into real, though derivative, lovability…In that sense, all [God’s] love is, as it were, bottomlessly selfless by very definition; it has everything to give and nothing to receive.

Perhaps another word for that love this Holy Week is passion.

As we move from yesterday’s joyous, but surely ominous, Palm Sunday parade, toward the events of upper room, garden, courts, cross, and tomb, the message resounds in ways clear and cosmic, you are loved.

+++++++++++++++++++

{This year during Lent, looking for some creative writing theme, I happened on this idea: check out the mugs in the Kellam kitchen cupboard for ideas. Odd, I know. But it is what it is.}

Today’s coffee found its way into this vessel. It was a Christmas gift in…well, it says right there: 2008. And the artist is Ryan, my oldest grandson. I’ve forgotten what inspired this elementary school arDSC07329.jpgtwork, but it’s special.

Now and then I run across some artwork our children brought home from school or maybe created at the kitchen table over three decades ago. The edges of the paper are mangled, the colors faded a bit, but what treasures they remain. I know coloring books are popular now, even among adults, but the idea of drawing whatever springs from your imagination in the flash of a moment has more appeal than just coloring inside the lines someone else put there.

Look at Ryan’s crayoned creation. A flower within a flower? Some jagged lines, some straight. Every color in the box. What did he “see” before he drew? Or, did he draw without anything in mind, letting the hands-fingers-crayons just do their thing without thought? The original is now no doubt lost among the hundreds of other artworks that didn’t make it onto coffee mugs. But there’s that one, still appreciated by his Papa. (This is actually the first of three Christmas mugs in a row (2008-2010) that I unwrapped; the others will appear here later in Lent.)

Do you remember any particular artwork you made that you wish you still had? I recall two, and rather vividly. One from fifth grade was to depict “what I wanted to be when I grew up.” I had drawn a movie projectionist. I’d never been in a projection booth, so the picture was purely imaginary. And I drew myself way too short. The second artwork was from ninth grade. It was a pastel chalk architectural drawing of a modernistic church, and my art teacher Mrs. Bryan was quite impressed with it.

This reminds me of a finger-painted artwork given to me by young children at a church I once served. I was leaving the church after many years there, and that painting, rendered by one child in particular, was a “parting gift.” Many years later, that child and his family visited us in our new community, and I noticed the boy taking a particular interest in looking around our house, room to room. His mother told me he was looking to see if we still had his artwork hanging somewhere. It meant a lot to him to have created it, to have gifted it, and to find it still appreciated. Sadly, he didn’t find it. I had stored it away. Somewhere. I shared the boy’s disappointment, and was thankful I could retrieve it before the family left for home. At least he knew I still had it…and still do.

A child’s creative expressions, whether scrawled cursive stories or finger-painted  splotches of gooey colors, are always worth saving, though practically speaking we can’t possibly keep each one. But a representative few, framed and hanging in the living room or pressed into a scrapbook in a closet, serve as reminders that children have rich imaginations, fanciful and artistic ways to tell stories or share feelings. “Tell me about your picture,” we say as we open the door to what might be a deeply meaningful conversation we recall long after the artwork has disappeared.

Is there a connection with Lent here? Like drawing a cross on someone’s forehead with the ashes of last Palm Sunday’s fronds? No, that’s too much a stretch. But it’s odd that this comes to mind: the last time I drew anything that found its way public, it was a pencil drawing of Jesus before the crowds during Holy Week. I hadn’t thought about ordering a special Good Friday bulletin, so I drew my own. And the critic in me told me the shadowed scene was just OK, and that my Jesus looked awfully short. Maybe he was…ever think of that? It wasn’t as good as most Sunday School art. But (ahem) I still have it.

To paraphrase Jesus, “Let the little children draw something for me, and forbid them not.”

[The photograph was taken in an alley in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Date unknown. This is the last in this series of Lenten images and reflections. Tomorrow, however…]

When the Light of the World had been extinguished, Peter and the others sought shadows. No one has an authoritative figure for the population of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ death. Estimates range from 20,000 to 80,000, with tens of thousands more visiting the city during times like Passover. If one were trying to hide out, and Peter was, how hard would it be?

You were with him, weren’t you? With the Nazarene, I mean. Aren’t you one of his disciples?

No! I am not! img487.jpg

Move away from the warmth of the fire; into the shadows of night you go, Peter, before they arrest you, too.

And that was the night before. Before the rabbi faced his capital punishment, his crucifixion. Now that he was dead, Peter and his friends were even more afraid. The sun rises on Saturday, and somewhere in the shadows of Jerusalem, they hide. Together? More probably, they split up. Wouldn’t you? Fellowship is one thing, finding solace in mutual support. But after the trauma of yesterday…God, I just want to be alone. Somewhere safe. (Where is the angel now? The one who says, “Don’t be afraid.”)

There are soldiers over there. Hide behind that column. Religious leaders pass by, and they are the enemy today too. Duck under that tree branch. Anyone who looks you in the eye forces you into a doorway, out of sight. You hope.

As you hide, your memory is alive with what might have been, if cloaks and palm branches and hosannas and children singing and prancing had meant the success of the movement. He tried to warn us. Hosannas quieted. Dancers and demonstrators and disciples dispersed. Away from the crowds again, Jesus’ teaching came through a voice tense with passion, breaking now and then with sadness, but with love audible in every syllable.

Peter realized that they had all listened, but did not heed. Or, could not. Hopes were so high for all who paraded, shouted, cried, and pled, “Save us!”

And then within days, a last supper together, intimate, memorable. A prelude to betrayal, it turned out. Peter remembered following… at a distance, a safe distance, until he was recognized.

The next morning, hosannas had turned to “Crucify! Crucify!” Peter’s blood ran cold. And then the Light was extinguished and shadows became his friend. Peter hides. Crouches here, darts there, stays out of sight and weeps, for his Lord and for himself. He keeps an eye out for John. He wonders about Thomas. And Matthew. Anger and disgust well up when he thinks of Judas. “But am I any better?” He shivers in the shadows though the air is warm.

They will have to regroup at some point. They owe that much to the memory of Jesus. Their community was so important to him. But for now, Peter, lay low. You really have no idea what tomorrow will bring.

For now, a lonely man in the midst of a busy city, looking over his shoulder, in the shadow of the cross.

 

 

 

After today, one image more. It was chosen at the start of this journey. But today’s image was found just moments ago. I had considered an Iona cross, one of the ancient stone crosses that tower over visitors to Iona Abbey. But then I found this crucifix, more appropriate to Good Friday than the empty crosses of Iona.

This stunning figure hangs over the chancel of St. Nicholas’ Church in BeDSC00924.JPGrlin, Germany, the church where Johann Crüger became the cantor in 1622. Crüger composed the tunes we sing for the hymns “Ah, Holy Jesus” and “Now Thank We All Our God,” among others. At the Maundy Thursday service I led last night at a small, hardly-surviving church, we tried our best to sing “Ah, Holy Jesus,” but the little electronic organ and the aging voices couldn’t convey the lament of the tune, making it sound more pitiful than the composer could have imagined.

We had heard how Jesus kneeled at the feet of his friends, and washed their feet at that last supper, even the feet of Judas one assumes, since surely John’s gospel would have told us otherwise. We then broke bread, shared the cup, and prayed together. “Ah, holy Jesus,” we sang at the end, “how have you offended, That mortal judgment has on you descended? By foes derided, by your own rejected, O most afflicted!”

Our struggling voices betrayed the sad beauty of Crüger’s song of lament, and we could hardly attend to Johann Heermann’s text: “Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon you? It is my treason, Lord, that has undone You. ‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied you; I crucified you.”

By hymn’s end, we were just glad the ordeal of singing had ended. Now, the morning after, I realize that maybe our mournful musical whimper may have been more appropriate to the text than that of a performance of some grand cathedral organ and professional choir. That there is sorrow and passion in the composer’s music cannot be denied. The power of his composition might move us emotionally, even to tears, even without any knowledge of that text. But I will say this about our singing last night: if we twelve in the chapel truly identified with the twelve in the upper room, if we owned the text about treason and denial, the sound of our weak singing could not have been more appropriate.

The well-known verses of Matthew 25 about the day of judgment when sheep and goats are separated according to those who see and minister to Jesus in the “least of those” and the ones who don’t — those verses might well be amplified beyond Jesus’ first century vision. “When did we see you hungry…thirsty…a stranger…naked…sick…in prison?”
That was the query in Matthew’s text. But let’s imagine a further inquisition: When did we see you fleeing violence? When did we see your child a refugee? When did we turn our hearts from girls kidnapped in some African village we’d never heard of? When did we see you aged and abused? When did we gather nails, wood, and…

“Inasmuch as you did it…” Oh. We know the rest. And we are complicit. ‘Twas us, Lord. Or, to make it more precise, linked most closely to the hymn text, “I it was denied you; I crucified you.” My DNA is on the hammer.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Well, we know on the surface what it is we do, because just look at him hanging there. But deep down, we don’t have a clue about Love Incarnate dying. Not yet.

It is only Friday.