My God, my God why have you forsaken me – This is the dark – hanging on a cross waiting to die – struggling to achieve each breath – knowing that even with faith that can move mountains there must be the uncertainty and aloneness to exist in – When the moment is nothing but pain can even the strongest among us feel God’s presence?
An American Poet Wendell Berry wrote a wonderful poem called To Know the Dark and it sums up that tension – I’d like to read it for you now
“To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.”
– Wendell Berry Farming: A Handbook 1970
Jesus went into to the darkness of death without the light of hope and resurrection – not to do so would have meant he never knew death – if he carried the light into the darkness the darkness would disappear
So we hear and tell the story that Jesus too – who had such a profound relationship with God – who had a conscious connection with the Divine remembered and quoted this Psalm in his dying – a psalm which begins in despair yet ends in hope – hope not yet realized and that is what stepping in to the darkness without light takes – a faith that even in the darkness God exist – there are angel wings in the dark though we see it not
When we despair – when we pour out our souls like water our hearts inside our breasts become like melting wax – this is Jesus on the cross – this is the Jesus we must know this day – the true life that truly died – who went into the darkness to know the dark – so that we who have lived our lives in the dark might know that Jesus’ feet are walking through the dark with us
We are entering a time historically when the one to whom we turn to see the human face of God did not walk among the living – and if there is a separate place that the dead really dwell then Jesus walked in that place – who knows if we will truly know death – for if we carry the light of Christ with us the darkness may not hold sway over our consciousness
To enter that realm like Jesus did through his faith alone – uncertain because faith comes in a container shaped by uncertainty – is to feel as he did forsaken by God for that moment
Let the dark this Good Friday be the dark – find God there in the dark feet and wings – walk into the consciousness of what Jesus did on this day two millennia ago – be thankful for him – grieve for him – rale against the death of an innocent man because innocents are still put to death – leave the hope aside as hard as that might be – God is with us in the hopelessness – in the dark – do not reach too soon for the light we pray will come so that when you know the uncertainty all come to experience – you can understand the depth this man Jesus went to – to love us all