Sermon for Good Friday

There is a poem by R S Thomas, which I have printed in the Lenten blog,
called The Coming.
In the poem God is watching the world through a small globe he holds in his hands,
and the Son is watching with him.
They see humanities despair and suffering,
and people watching a bare tree with crossed boughs,
as if waiting for the coming of something they could not understand.
The Son watches them with compassion and says: “Let me go there”.

That is the last line of the poem and I always find it very emotional to read.
“Let me go there”.
On this day God entered the very depths of human despair, suffering, cruelty and sin,
and embraced it in love.
On this day God entered the darkest part of human nature
in order that it may be healed, redeemed, and made whole;
in order that humanities true beauty, loveliness, and potential may be revealed;
in order that we may discover and begin to grow towards who we are truly meant to be.

That is why I bang on about this day being so important,
and how we cannot simply skip this day and jump straight into Easter.
There would be no Easter resurrection if there had been no Good Friday.
The resurrection on Easter morning is a direct consequence
of the complete and utter outpouring of love on this day.                                                       The miracle is not the resurrection                                                                                               but that outpouring of the purest of love that made it possible

The love that that compelled the Son to say: Let me go there.
The love that stripped the Son of divine privilege to became wholly human.
The love that drove him into the wilderness to confront his temptations and fears.
The love that sought out the poorest and marginalised folk of his time
to bring them hope, and reassurance of their value and worth.

The love that called him to confront and stand before those who condemned him.
The love that said Thy Will Be Done in the midst of his anguish in Gethsemane.
The love that surrendered to the mental, physical and spiritual torture
on his final journey to the cross.
The love that resulted in a lonely, painful, criminal death on Calvary’s hill.

It is this love we remember, honour, surrender to, and commit ourselves to on this day.
It is this unique and wonderful divine love that is at the center of life,  it is the miracle of life, that somehow makes sense of all life,  even in its darkest moments.
It is this love that calls us and the whole of creation
to discover and live from our beautiful, God given, hidden depths.
The Son watched them. Let me go there, he said.