"Poetry invites you to have an experience. It doesn't want you to drift away into inattention. It wants to grab you."
Holy Week | Good Friday (Year C)
Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42
Memphis is known for blues, barbecue, and kings. Elvis Presley, the "king of rock 'n' roll," shook, rattled, and rolled his way to stardom by drawing from the art of African Americans. He was, arguably, bigger than Jesus before John Lennon made that controversial claim for the Beatles in the 1960s. In that decade, Memphis became infamous for what happened to the preacher King. There to support the sanitation workers strike of 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and the legacy of bloodshed continues to haunt the city. Elvis and Martin are not the only kings of Memphis. There's also the king of kings.
As a child I was afraid of the cross. Crosses with Jesus’ bloody body terrified me, but even the empty ones I saw in my father’s Lutheran church gave me shivers. My father was a liberal Protestant, but my grandfather, who was also a minister, held a more traditional view of atonement theology.
The readings for Good Friday conclude with tender and brave acts of love (John 19:38-42). Both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are cautious—Joseph is a secret disciple of Jesus, and Nicodemus had come to Jesus in the night, perhaps with a hood over his head and looking over his shoulder the whole way. Yet these two hesitant men demonstrate courage.
by David KeckApril 15, 2014