Friday, September 26, 2008

"When my heart is full of sorrow"

I've been reading Steve Nichols' new book, Getting the Blues: What Blues Music Teaches Us about Suffering and Salvation and finding it very rewarding. The Blues are about a world of hardship and suffering - the world we live in - a fallen world, but not without hope. A significant part of the book's thesis is summarized in this passage from Chapter 4:
The stillness of Good Friday scares us. The immobile Redeemer, pierced and scarred and shut up in death, is too much for us. We prefer "Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;” and rightly so. But failing to linger at Good Friday, failing to keep Good Friday as an essential piece of our senses diminishes and distorts the full weight of Christ's work. If we don't linger at Good Friday, we have no hope to offer those who suffer from great floods, or from injustices, or from any of the litany of curses in the fallen world. Without Good Friday there is nothing left to say to those left mourning in the shadow of swaying bodies hanging from trees. And without Good Friday, that dark, cold night, there would be no redemption. Because there is Good Friday, there is something to say to those under the curse. Because of Good Friday there is the redemption and the fullness Blind Willie Johnson sang of. It is the redemption and freedom that the Child brings to the sons and daughters of Adam.

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