I spent Good Friday at Church of the Transfiguration, Darrington, our church in the Oso Mudslide zone. As I drove into town, on a beautiful day, and in this country, which is also so beautiful, it was hard to believe it was the place of so much tragedy. I went the only route they have now, the northern route, Hwy 20 out of Sedro-Wooley. Several of the folk who are members of Transfiguration, Darrington, live on the “other side” and make this drive now to be part of the community. As I drove into Darrington, I saw the FEMA center, and the lonely westward heading of Hwy 530. But, what I experienced in this town is tremendous resolve, and a profound hope, even in the face of all of this. Good Friday, at the church, with 8 faithful fellow souls, was a Good Friday experience like no other. We started with the Stations of the Cross. We used “everyone’s way of the cross” by Clarence Enzler, and I was very moved by these words, on Station Nine, “The Third Fall” where Jesus says, “Know this, your body may be broken, but no force on earth and none in hell can take away your will.”
Being in that place, and hearing those words, came with such promise, promise that we cannot sometimes begin to know when not faced with what this town and area have faced these last days. These are words for them, for us, for the days ahead. And the Rev. Janet Loyd’s sermon only made them even more, real, hopeful. She reminded us that the “good” in this Friday is the hope that is to come, that knowing the sorrow of this day, only deepens the joy and promise we find in Easter, in eternal life, in a Savior that destroys death, and gives us eternal life, no matter what befalls us in this life.
And as we ended our service we heard that final Good Friday prayer from our Prayer Book, again, so much more meaningful and profound on this day, in this place.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, we pray you to set your passion, cross, and death between your judgment and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living; pardon and rest to the dead; to your holy Church peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; for with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Then, the 8 of us sat together, and ate pie, and coffee, and talked of many things. This is the Church.
Happy Easter one and all. It is Good Fridays such as this, which make Easter all the more rich.
My video Easter greeting can be found here.