I once threw a house party on Good Friday. I’ll never forget the judgmental voice I heard as I left the Good Friday service at the church I grew up in. “A party on good Friday, oh myyyyy… bless your heart” she scolded in her southern drawl as I jumped on my pink bicycle riding home from church. I was 19 years old and had had an awful year.
I was throwing a party to celebrate the end of a relationship that had been on its best day avoidable. The relationship ended when I came home to discover all my light bulbs missing from my house in Midtown Kansas City late at night. Learning to rebuild an empty house is a tough thing for a 19 year old to do. So before I bought new furniture and new friends into my house I wanted to through a party in the empty house of empty rooms: all that was left in the 2000 sq ft house build in 1932 was an old pair of shoes, a pile of dust and a salmon in the freezer. I needed a house thawing party. I was only 19 and I felt so finished with God- how could this have happened?
When I think about Good Friday and the theme of resistance I think how could this have happen? How could the state kill Jesus who came to save humanity? How could this have happened?
I look around at our world today- I look at what is happening from Los Angeles to New York- of course this has happened. It has happened because we are complacent in systems that allow this to happen.
It happens because we support these systems with our trust and our tax dollars.
It happens because we are too often too silent when we should speak up. The people of God had an opportunity to save Jesus but when given the choice they chose to look away for the side of justice. They choose to look away.
It’s easier to say “bless your heart” than “must have been a rough Lent.” It’s easier to judge than to look for truth. It’s easier to say he must have had a criminal background, he must have had a weapon, he must have … than ask what caused this young man of color to die at the hands of the state. It’s easier to let tonight be just another Friday night.
So on this Good Friday I invite you to ask the hard questions, the uncomfortable questions, the ones you may not be ready to ask.
Kelly Phelan is the Children’s Minister at All Saints Church in Pasadena.