This Friday, we and our church family will be rolling out small rugs on the floor of our mid-century gymnasium-turned-sanctuary. As we sit, bow, kneel, or lie, we’ll be taking a low posture for an hour during our Good Friday service. We feel that at least one time out of the 50+ times we gather in that room, we can certainly express with our bodies the posture of our hearts and minds. These are not so subdivided as a post-Enlightenment culture may assume. So we’ll make ourselves low tomorrow.
Our pastor will be reading various passages from Genesis to the Revelation of John that chronicle our human sinfulness. We’ll be measuring the distance we have made between us and God–personal, ultimate reality who seeks and creates relationship with sinful folk like us. And this Friday will only be called “good” because it marks God crossing that distance to bring us near.
As it is said in 1 Peter 3:18:
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit…
Likewise, in Colossians 1: 13-14 we are reminded:
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
As we plumb the depths of sin tomorrow, we see the depths of love that seeks and saves all the way to the border of our rebellion–and beyond.
So get low today, tomorrow, and the next (and even after that). That’s the way Christians get to God–by being brought near to Him, not by bringing themselves to Him. As the thief confessed as he hung next to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Helpless and condemned, we too must confess the same. Christ’s remembrance of us–His memory of mercy as He returns as the one real judge and arbiter of the people–is our only hope. We must get low, and find the Christ crossing a great distance to bring us back to where we belong.
God, give us the humility and the eyes to see the great distances we have placed between us and you through sin and rebellion. Show us how we are so unlike you. And then come speedily to us, reminding us that you have resolved to bring us to Yourself and to make us live in peace with you and to resemble you. This thought nearly undoes me with joy and wonder and thanksgiving. Unwind the tight cords of obstinance and self-reliance and self-righteousness, and bind us ever closer to yourself with cords of kindness (Hosea 11:4). Amen.
Photo credit: Jason St Peter / fiftypercentchanceofrain.com