PreEaster Friday – A, B, C
Years A, B, C
Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Persistence in the face of overwhelming sorrow (try reading the Thomas Covenant series by Stephen R. Donaldson) can lead to provocation to love and good deeds, anyway.
Overwhelming sorrow can also deaden us to the point of non-responsiveness. It can call forth intermediary rituals to disperse such sorrow that eventually become a barrier to experiencing the sorrow at all. At this point we cling to our ritual rather than face again that which overwhelms us, every time. Far better to be obedient than to wrestle, as did Jacob of old, with unknown forces.
Suffering does come, as does everything in its time. But here the suffering may be more in the eye of the beholder than the actor. We do come to an empathetic and cathartic experience of suffering, but one that tends to keep us captive to it rather than release us into a new freedom to accept oursuffering and not run from it.
We do not seem to find a way through suffering (a better conversation between Buddha and Jesus would help many a Christian and their congregation). It becomes a totem for us and we carry it around our necks and tattooed on our bodies. A cross becomes an ending spot for us rather than a beginning, everything is seen through its lens.
Note: None of this applies to the kinds of suffering we cause and ignore to the least among us. That kind of suffering has nothing to do with redemption.