Good Friday Ecclectica

Posted: April 10, 2020 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , , ,

What did you learn from that?

-Dr. Finn, The Orville Season 1, Ep. 2 “Command Performance”

See the source imageThe episode Command Performance, finds the second officer brooding an egg (a single gender species reproductive practice-do not ask I do not want to digress right now); and the Captain and first officer trapped away from ship, leaving Lt. Kitan Alara, the Security Chief in command for the first time. Her first actions lead to a disastrous explosion that harms the ship and crew.

The quote is a rebuff by the ship’s doctor when she attempts to get out of command based on the error. It opened up thoughts on this blustery Good Friday in Calgary as we continue the cycle of non-spring weather with another snow flurry (and parts of Southern Alberta awaiting or receiving upwards to 20 cms). It is a weekend in North America where a hashtag to end the shut down is beginning to pick up moment (dumb asses, as Red from That `70’s show would say); where some mega churches have been pushing for congregating together to celebrate for “the blood of Jesus” will protect you if you have the faith (dumb ass), the Yellow Vesters movement in Alberta is planning a gathering this weekend to promote the “fake news” of the pandemic not being real (may they all receive the $1,200 fine a piece and hopefully 6 months a piece in remand if they amp up the aggression issue), see my thoughts echoing Red on the first point of the hash tag. Now, some may say the fines aren’t a reality, but they are and I am proud of the Calgary Police Service for the news of two handed out this week (read here), for one being symptomatic and breaking the health order of quarantine, the other to the nefarious Street Church in Calgary that uses the offering of free food for those in need as a way to peddle a toxic gospel message, verbally and emotionally abuse individuals and waste our courts and politicians time in faux outrage of non-existent oppression. Yes, I have had my run ins with them and their hatred formula, and on this Good Friday as we reflect on the different stories of Jesus, Pilate, Caiaphas, Peter and Judas, I would say the “preacher” of this movement falls into the category of the religious oppressors out to kill hope, peace, joy, faith and love.

I akin it in Canada to a unified Team Canada across 9 provinces, 3 territories and our Federal Government in working together to accomplish the impossible of flattening the curve, and ending the pandemic–then you come to my home province where our Premier’s insecurity is on display with him taking over the Chief Medical Officer addresses, where nearly 1/4 of lay offs during the pandemic were executed by a Saturday press release/tweet of public school staff and education assistants (for those most vulnerable of our exceptional children); a health minister that is breaking privacy rules to personally bully doctors and health professionals, cancelling agreements that is driving doctors out of our rural areas, an authoritarian power grab by-passing the elected Legislative Assembly by the Premier…and the list goes on as ideology outstrips common sense and compassion for fellow neighbours and citizens.

Yet it is driven and some faithful are having the scales fall away from their eyes like Paul in Damascus, but others are doubling down in the creation of a assertive eugenics movement that can see the least of these not make it through the pandemic not because of natural virus progression but rather advert government interference to strip the supports necessary for life to continue. This attack on the elements of kindness, hope, peace, joy, faith and love at the heart of the Holy Week journey.

For it is the drive to kill these key elements of human spirit that is the crux of the Good Friday story. It may be missed, and lost within the drive to maintain the normal, the hierarchy, the patriarchy, the institutionalization, the colonialism, the system that exists, the empire, the capitalism… Yet what is missed within the story is that the oppressive powers truly were afraid of what happens when the people understand kindness, their inherent worth in simply being (Imageo Dei) and belonging, here these words anew with that lens:

John 18:1-19:42 (The Message):

18 Jesus, having prayed this prayer, left with his disciples and crossed over the brook Kidron at a place where there was a garden. He and his disciples entered it.
2-4 Judas, his betrayer, knew the place because Jesus and his disciples went there often. So Judas led the way to the garden, and the Roman soldiers and police sent by the high priests and Pharisees followed. They arrived there with lanterns and torches and swords. Jesus, knowing by now everything that was coming down on him, went out and met them. He said, “Who are you after?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
5-6 He said, “That’s me.” The soldiers recoiled, totally taken aback. Judas, his betrayer, stood out like a sore thumb.
7 Jesus asked again, “Who are you after?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
8-9 “I told you,” said Jesus, “that’s me. I’m the one. So if it’s me you’re after, let these others go.” (This validated the words in his prayer, “I didn’t lose one of those you gave.”)
10 Just then Simon Peter, who was carrying a sword, pulled it from its sheath and struck the Chief Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. Malchus was the servant’s name.
11 Jesus ordered Peter, “Put back your sword. Do you think for a minute I’m not going to drink this cup the Father gave me?”
12-14 Then the Roman soldiers under their commander, joined by the Jewish police, seized Jesus and tied him up. They took him first to Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas. Caiaphas was the Chief Priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it was to their advantage that one man die for the people.
15-16 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple was known to the Chief Priest, and so he went in with Jesus to the Chief Priest’s courtyard. Peter had to stay outside. Then the other disciple went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and got Peter in.
17 The young woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?”
He said, “No, I’m not.”
18 The servants and police had made a fire because of the cold and were huddled there warming themselves. Peter stood with them, trying to get warm.
The Interrogation
19-21 Annas interrogated Jesus regarding his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered, “I’ve spoken openly in public. I’ve taught regularly in meeting places and the Temple, where the Jews all come together. Everything has been out in the open. I’ve said nothing in secret. So why are you treating me like a conspirator? Question those who have been listening to me. They know well what I have said. My teachings have all been aboveboard.”
22 When he said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across the face, saying, “How dare you speak to the Chief Priest like that!”
23 Jesus replied, “If I’ve said something wrong, prove it. But if I’ve spoken the plain truth, why this slapping around?”
24 Then Annas sent him, still tied up, to the Chief Priest Caiaphas.
25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was back at the fire, still trying to get warm. The others there said to him, “Aren’t you one of his disciples?”
He denied it, “Not me.”
26 One of the Chief Priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
27 Again, Peter denied it. Just then a rooster crowed.
The King of the Jews
28-29 They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace. It was early morning. They themselves didn’t enter the palace because they didn’t want to be disqualified from eating the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and spoke. “What charge do you bring against this man?”
30 They said, “If he hadn’t been doing something evil, do you think we’d be here bothering you?”
31-32 Pilate said, “You take him. Judge him by your law.”
The Jews said, “We’re not allowed to kill anyone.” (This would confirm Jesus’ word indicating the way he would die.)
33 Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus. He said, “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”
34 Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?”
35 Pilate said, “Do I look like a Jew? Your people and your high priests turned you over to me. What did you do?”
36 “My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”
37 Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”
Jesus answered, “You tell me. Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”
38-39 Pilate said, “What is truth?”
Then he went back out to the Jews and told them, “I find nothing wrong in this man. It’s your custom that I pardon one prisoner at Passover. Do you want me to pardon the ‘King of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a Jewish freedom fighter.

The new hope being born through these times, if we let the old oppressive regimes die, and the awaiting resurrection– new birth– is being seen in the assertion of public education, universal health care (including mental health, dentistry, optometry and pharma care a truly holistic approach) and a guaranteed universal/basic income are the policy pieces. At the community level we are realizing the true value in simply being, understanding that every role in our society matters and should be able to have a living-thriving wage.

Wow, true belonging.

Currently though as you can see, the globe is in the struggle of Good Friday. The fake trial, the assertion of the old that destroyed and continues to destroy so many, and the new standing there, scourged, beaten, crucified as the old cheers wins or so it seems. But how much longer can it limp along, using catch phrases, and tweet politics/religion to stop the blessing of the gifts?

In our Good Friday where are we choosing to stand?

With the old– or

with the gift of being, belonging, hope, peace, faith, joy, and the most precious, LOVE?

You are the jury of the soul for yourself and community,

how do you cast your vote?

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