Located in South Tampa and witnessing to the love of God for over 90 years. Committed to a neighborhood presence, worldwide outreach and a deep heritage of Christian faith.

on Justification

Good Friday #40Word Prayer

by Bruce Reyes-Chow http://www.reyes-chow.com/2015/04/40-word-prayer-on-justification/

Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. —John 19: 16

The injustices of the world can be overwhelming, so we turn away, we walk away, we give in. God, in the face of injustice, give us humility to see our involvement, courage to step in the way, and faith to trust your power over others. Amen.

Good Friday, the day we remember the death of Christ, is for me the most moving service in the church year. Remembering the depths of pain that humans can cause one another is vital. In a culture that jumps too quickly to the positive spin, the good story, and the fairy-tale ending, the Good Friday reminder of death gives depth to moments of joy. To fully appreciate the power of the resurrection, new life out of death, and hope out of despair, we must walk the depths of death and despair. We have such a difficult time embracing our role in death: the walk to the cross, the preparation for death, and the striking of nails. Like we do with many difficult aspects of the faith story, be it the filth of the manger, the rape of Bathsheba by David, or people being massacred in the name of God, we make these things palatable by sanitizing, justifying, or simply turning the page. We, in essence, explain away the worst of our faith story so that we can move on to the best. When we do this, we give ourselves permission to do the same when it comes to today. When it comes to people living in poverty, sexualized and raped, or murdered on the streets, we sanitize, intellectualize, justify, or simply walk right on by. So, we pause on this day of death to remember. In doing so, we give ourselves the chance to be a part of a lifetime of hope.



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