An Evening of Song, Silence, Scripture and Solidarity
Can light shine into the darkness and pain of our lives?
First Church On Park Square
Friday: March 29 @ 7 pm
Good Friday in the Christian tradition invites us to confront the consequences of both God’s love and human sin: we trust that God came into the world in Christ but was executed because of human fear, greed and a lust for power. At the same time, we know that God refused to accept humanity’s “NO” as the final authority and raised Jesus to new life beyond the grave on Easter.
Tonight’s liturgy evokes disorientation: life is filled with unexpected tragedies and suffering as well as a sacred love that can transform our worst pain into something redemptive. As the Cross makes clear, this is never automatic or inevitable – there is evil, cruelty and senseless agony everywhere – and so tonight we gather to express our sorrow and solidarity with the wounded of the world. At the same time, we also come together in community to honor how God’s love can bring healing and hope to us from out of the most horrible agonies. These truths are often true at the same time in a paradoxical union for there is a power greater than ourselves at work in the world that can bring light into the darkness and serenity to our chaos if… we are open to this mystery.
Our music tonight embraces the challenging polarity that exists between Good Friday and Easter. We juxtapose the ancient prayer – o blessed fault - o necessary sin – with the weird industrial groove of “Purple Haze” to give shape, form and sound to this tension. As the readings and songs mature, the tension of the Paschal Mystery intensifies and we wrestle with how God brings healing and hope into the ugliest realities: surrender and serenity are married to acceptance – and this always feels completely disorienting.
Left to ourselves, we live in a “Mad World.” We know that something is wrong and want to “get outta Dodge,” but we don’t know where to go – so we “Keep the Car Running” even when bad becomes even worse. When all of our “Roads” lead to despair – and we find ourselves “At the Bottom of the River” – only then do we sense an alternative has been offered in the story of Jesus; here sin and bad choices are always pregnant with the promise of grace. Only when we run out of options – when we have no more “High Hopes” – does God meets us in our Good Friday to lead us towards Easter.
The arc of our songs tonight tries to articulate the human condition AND the Paschal Mystery – the agony of “Were You There?” and the promise of “Don't Give Up!” We call this a spirituality of imperfection that is born of disorientation – and it is a blessing.