© Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
Today, I went deep into Christian tradition, attending a special Good Friday service at St. Francis Xavier Catholic church. No, I am not Catholic. I am an independently ordained minister who belongs to a large Episcopal church. But the speakers today, at this large Catholic church, were all ordained women from different sects. The priest of the Catholic Church knew them all through the Valley Interfaith Project, and it was his idea to invite them to speak about the Seven Last Words (Sayings) of Jesus. And, the first speaker was the Dean of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, Martha Seaman.
I honestly don’t enjoy thinking about Good Friday, or Holy Friday. It’s the commemoration of the day Jesus was crucified and died. It’s a gory story. It’s tough to listen to. Especially in a large, beautifully appointed Catholic church, there is a huge crucifix (figure of Jesus dying on the cross) hanging over the altar, front and center.
But there are questions I have always had about Good Friday. So when my dear friend invited me to go with her, I immediately said “yes!” And I got some questions answered plus much to ponder. I will cover only two here. I love to go deep in theology sometimes. My first question was (obviously?), why is a day of so much suffering called “Good” anything? Simply, it comes from an Old English expression meaning Holy. So, commemoration of the day Jesus died from his human form is Holy Friday.
I have also always wondered why Jesus, who was close to completing his Earthly mission, would cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before, he had asked God, if it were possible, to take This Cup from him (to take away His last steps of suffering). Then, Jesus concluded, “not my will, but thy will be done.” So Jesus went full circle into acceptance of the original plan that he would be the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of humanity. He knew he would likely be crucified. Why then, would he implicitly accuse God of forsaking Him? That’s not it. Jesus was quoting Old Testament, as He so often did. He was quoting Psalm 22, a lamentation-style Psalm, which begins with the line (as translated): “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The poet then asks for God’s protection and ends confidently:
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
So Jesus did it! He rose again from the dead, as celebrated on Easter morning, proving life did not end with death of the body. And many exciting things then transpired. So look to the Easter story, and this weekend, think of Redemption, Resurrection, and new life overall. And that will be you, steering yourself ever more into being Healthy Happy and Loving Lifesm!
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert, holistic healer, and award-winning author who celebrates life. She has a longtime natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. Among her books are: Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire, and Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine. The books are available on Amazon and through Kebba’s office. They are also available in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Franciscan Renewal Center bookstore and at the bookstore at St. Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church. Or simply email us to order: firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you!