1) In the Christian days of my youth, I used to hate Good Friday. I was never one of those souls whose palms bleed from the nails of the cross being pounded in. My forehead didn't bleed from the crown of thorns.
2) There were no miracles in my youth. But, I absolutely did suffer a form of vicarious agony as I walked the streets of old Jerusalem together with my Savior in mind and heart, suffering with him almost viscerally.
3) I could never watch the Passion Plays for that reason. I winced with every blow He suffered.

As a Senior in high school, I finally came to terms with Good Friday, through the night before, on Mount Golgotha.
4) Those hours of praying, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Must I drink of this cup? Yet, not my will, but Thine oh Lord.

Perhaps it was the sleeping disciples who gave me a point of entry into the moment.
5) When I get sleepy, I grow nasty and weak of spirit. Really, you can ask Kate, my mean side comes out and the more I try to stay awake, the more rude and inconsiderate I become. I understood those poor fellows trying to stay awake through the long hours.
6) That year, 1979, I found my way into the Book of John, and took those hours on the Mount, and worked through the Crucifiction with painstaking care, in crafting a sermon - my portion of a sermon, actually - that I preached as our choir toured churches throughout Illinois.
7) They were mostly small, but some large as well. I'd have to guess we must have traveled to at least 10 churches all over the state.
8) Without realizing it, by the third or fourth rendition, our speech teacher, Elder Mayberry, pulled me aside and told me that I had actually memorized my entire sermon word for word, without realizing it.
9) He kindly warned me that it would soon grow stale to me, without meaning, if I didn't learn to present it somewhat differently each time. That was truly a blessing. One never wants so profound a message to grow stale.
10) Embracing his counsel, from that moment forward, I entered ever more deeply into the story, finding myself ever more moved by the ultimate sacrifice.

After I left high school, and during my freshman year in college, my faith began what felt to be a long slow collapse.
11) The process accelerating toward the end of the school year, and wasn't completed until the middle of my sophomore year. We can discuss that story another time.
12) In the many decades since, I have not returned to the story often, but the older I grow the more meaning I find in the concept of sacrifice itself. It's tempting to follow the Buddha's thinking about suffering and its basis, ignorant cravings. But, that too is another story.
13) In today's pandemic-driven world, we are all making sacrifices whether we want to or not. Perhaps the story of Good Friday, of a God incarnate, giving his life through the most horrible suffering, in order to offer healing to the world, perhaps that really is a good story.
14) Or, at least, a very real one in representing the many deaths we all suffer on our strange journey of life.

And the question for all of us, for each of us, is where do we find our redemption?
15) For Christians, that story gets told this coming Sunday. For the rest of us, we should honor our Christian brothers and sisters, and join them in the profound joy of gratitude for our lives, while we have them.
16) There is healing in the story. And I find that to make Good Friday both important, and, in fact, actually good.

You can follow @ThyConsigliori.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: