A trend that came over the waters to England over recent years was the Black Friday sales. A terrifying experience (especially for those who find shopping stressful) as people fight for the best deals. I was lucky while over in America to avoid the day but got to hear plenty of horror stories. Today is the day to remember a different type of Friday, Good Friday. The day to remember the death of Christ. This day takes on a different meaning all together.
Two days, separated by time and their ideals. Which one do we get our wellness from?
Consumerism offers the possibility to mourn. The quick excitement of the purchasing can often be coupled by the mourning of the bank account, to mourning of societies’ desire of material goods. Hope does not follow this option. Communities are fractured as individualism is valued over the care of the collective. The term Black Friday came about due to the accidents and violence that took place on that day. As individual are up against individual, a community fractured by greed. There is plenty to mourn on that day.
Christ’s death offers possibilities to mourn but also points to hope. Christ’s death gives us the chance as a Church to mourn. A time to mourn can be healthy. To realise the things we have left unsaid, the things we have done wrong, remembering those we have forgotten. A community was born on the day Christ died. A community and a Church, to work together as one. To recognise that each of us are wonderfully unique and each of us are needed. We often fail at this but today reminds us that despite the labels we may use in Christ’s eyes we are all the same and are required do what we can for one another. The reason for Good Friday’s name has long been lost, with many theories such as that it was a corruption from God’s Day. But “Good” feels a good fit to me, as although the death of Christ may not have been, the hope it hints to gives us a glimpse of what is to come.
Just as the community was conceived this day, so was Jesus. The Angel Gabriel, sent down from Heaven, announced this day that Mary would give birth to the Son of God (a rare opportunity with the moving liturgical calendar). The feelings of loneliness Mary must have felt as she prepared for the world to be against her but her acceptance in faith were to be mirrored by her son on this day that he died. But out of loneliness the community was born. Just as Christ was conceived this day, let us conceive new ways to overcome death with the power of community and love.