I should be the last person to poo-poo modern life. Far from being a naturalist, I’m a man of the great indoors. I enjoy a comfortable bed, functional indoor plumbing, a fast computer, and being to travel what used to be considered long distances because of cars.
But today, I feel the oppression of modern living. Although, as Christians, we call this Friday ‘good’, it is only good because we have seen the ending. It is only good because we have been given the privilege of seeing behind the curtain to what God saw. And so, on this Good Friday, I think the most meaningful response–before all the truly worthwhile celebration–is to pause. To pause to remember the pain, to remember the abandonment, to remember the sacrifice. And to let that pausing be our gratitude. To let that pausing be our worship. To let that pausing be our response to this mind-boggling act of love.
And the oppression I feel isn’t so much the evil that surrounds me, although that is always there. It is the unrelenting pace of this world. It is the constant demand to go-go-go. It is the whip of this world. But it is also an impulse that has been internalized into the very rhythm of our souls. The brand of modernity, seared into our insides.
Who has time to reflect when there’s so much work to be done? Who has time to pray when we have video games, TV shows, and Facebook walls to occupy our time? Who has time to remember when there never seems to be a convenient time anyways? Oh the oppression!
And if you think I’m poo-pooing others. Think again, because I am speaking about myself. But today isn’t a day of self-flagellation–I’m not into that anyways. It’s a day to pause to think about my Lord, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross and all the shame therein. To pause with all creation, to remember when all the world dimmed to its darkest at the murder of it’s Creator, even if few people noticed.