Many years ago, Good Friday was a very quiet day, it was a day when shops were closed, and people took time out of their busy lives to go to church and commemorate the passion and death of Jesus.
In these last weeks our towns and cities have become quieter, but for a very different reason. There isn’t as much traffic on our roads and there are fewer people to be seen. Our churches have been closed and people have not been able to worship as they normally would.
We cannot make sense of the crisis in our world today, but we have witnessed the heroism of those in the health service, those providing care, people in essential services, and the generosity of so many volunteers in giving their time and energy for the sake of others.
We give thanks to God for this willingness to reach out to those around us.
The death of Jesus on the cross didn’t make sense to his followers. Only days earlier he had been hailed as a king when he entered Jerusalem, and now he had been scourged, beaten and mocked. A crown of thorns was forced on to his head and a purple robe put around him. He had experienced the screaming of the crowds, ‘Crucify him, crucify him!’ and was forced to carry the cross. The disciples didn’t understand, every hope they had was being destroyed and they hid in fear; and yet their lives were about to be transformed.
Life has changed for us in recent weeks, rather than hiding in fear we must, for the good of us all, accept and comply with the necessary government restrictions and look forward with hope.
So today we have to find a different way of giving witness to the Crucifixion. Our towns and cities are once again quiet and we can’t hold a Walk of Witness, or even go to a church to pray. This doesn’t make our prayer less sincere, instead it can become deeper and from the heart. The psalmist prays ‘in the silence of my heart teach me wisdom’ and it is there that we can find the Wisdom of God for this day.