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What's "good" about Good Friday?
If you’re someone who believes the story of Christianity, it’s hard to imagine anything “good” about the relentless torture and brutal execution of the Son of God, right?
So then, why is it called “Good Friday”?
According to the always reliable Wikipedia:
‘Good Friday’ comes from the sense ‘pious, holy’ of the word “good.” Less common examples of expressions based on this obsolete sense of "good" include "the good book" for the Bible, "good tide" for "Christmas," and Good Wednesday for the Wednesday in Holy Week. A common folk etymology incorrectly analyzes “Good Friday” as a corruption of “God Friday” similar to the linguistically correct description of “goodbye” as a contraction of “God be with you.”
However, I appreciate the line of thinking I first heard from Father Nathan Castle. How utterly optimistic and audacious to call it Good Friday!
“I think it takes all the nerve in the world,” states Fr. Nathan, “to trust that good is always happening even in the presence of what looks awful.”
(Listen here to my recent podcast with Fr. Nathan.)
Think about it: God gave humans free will — urging us to trust his judgment when it comes to discerning good from evil. We arrogantly thought we knew better and are living (and dying) with the results since then.
But this does not negate the overwhelming presence of and potential for good.
I wish more people would see things in a similar way (with or without religious undertones). Unless you can first imagine a better future, it’s unlikely that you will do productive work in that direction. It’s also unlikely that you’ll seek common ground with those outside your immediate circle or echo chamber.
If you perceive us as collectively living in a sort of an ongoing Good Friday scenario, can you also perceive this as leading us to an Easter morning scenario?
“Holy Week” does not have to be tied to a particular faith or denomination. When enough people recognize the sacred all around us, it will open doors that no one can shut.
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