Today is Good Friday: the day on which Jesus was tried, condemned and crucified. Justice was swift in that time. Last night, while he was at dinner with his friends, those whom we know as the disciples, one of his closest friends, a man who’d been with him almost from the beginning, sold him out to the authorities. We don’t know why. Maybe it was money. Maybe disillusionment. Maybe fear. Who knows what runs through a mind under stress?
On April 1, 4780 people had been officially recorded as dying from this coronavirus. Yesterday, that number was 16,672. That means that in the nine days, almost twelve thousand people died. It took twenty days to get to twelve thousand deaths, but counting backwards, only nine days… this outbreak is not yet over. It is not yet time to relax our vigilance.
Jesus’ followers followed him to the place of judgment. It was while they were there, waiting, that a maid came up to Peter, the most loyal of the disciples. She accused him of being one of Jesus’ pals. And Peter denied it. He denied knowing Jesus, not once, but three times.
This time, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, is all about betrayal. It’s all about those times when even the best of friends step back, or even the most reliable of backstops fail. What could speak more powerfully to us in this time of loss? Everywhere we turn, those things we have depended on are failing us. If we go out (and we’re really not supposed to do that), we need to wear masks, dart in and out of the grocery, go home and wash our hands. We can’t gather in crowds, won’t be able to have Easter dinner with family or friends. We worry that investments have tanked; we wonder if jobs will still be there, or if we’re going to get paid through this season. Certainties have been dissolved by fear.
Like the disciples, we don’t know what’s going to happen next. On Friday, they did not know what Sunday would bring. Like them, we wait for. . . what, we’re not sure.
Yet, in the midst of fear, in the midst of uncertainty, we still have God. We still have this Holy Week story to tell us that in the midst of the worst, we still have God. So hold on! It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming.
Blessings on this darkest of days,
As you know, our Thrift Shop is closed, and we are losing that income. If you could send in additional money this month, we’d really appreciate it. All our staff is still on the payroll, we still have utility bills. Your gifts make it possible for us to continue. Checks may be mailed to the church at 5 Gibbs Avenue, Wareham MA 02571.
NEED SHOPPING HELP? Nancy MacNeill reports that her two granddaughters are offering to do shopping for anyone who can’t get out. Just contact Nancy at 508-280-3716 or <firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to add a concern or joy to the list? Email me at email@example.com
- from Elaine Johnson: Please add my sister Janice to the prayer list. She fell and has a small brain bleed and concussion and severed her ear which needed to be stitched back into place. She is home recovering. (4/9)
- Prayers for all who work in the medical field as they deal with this crisis. (4/7)
- from Nancy MacNeill, prayers for her cousin Pam Bergeron
- from Lydia Sherman: Please add Carrie Andrews to the prayer list. She’s the cousin to my nephew Christopher’s wife… She currently is on life-support and is only in her 30’s.
- Steve Chanona’s daughter Annie, who is in Florida, has recovered.