Food for Thought-Dealing with Good Friday (After Brussels)

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1. We begin with the belief death and evil are not synonymous. The idea of death needs to be decoupled from the reality of evil. Death is a natural process, it is part of life. Acts of evil shortcut the process of life and hasten the reality of death. One way we might deal with unexpected evil is to talk about death in an honest, healthy, and open manner before a terror event. In a culture afraid to deal with death, aging, and mortality; are all the more frightened by the unexpected realities caused by faceless men in Brussels.

2. We can write on sidewalks with chalk, sing songs, change our social media profile pictures, and do many other things to show our solidarity with the victims of terrorism. These are ways of confronting evil. These actions do not address the finality of death. They help us understand the reality of evil. Death comes despite the presence of evil. Let us confront both death and evil in the most meaningful ways possible.

3. On Good Friday, the crucifixion asks us to come to terms with death and evil.

4. Some of those who killed Jesus thought they were acting in the name of God. Evil will often look for religious reasons to justify shortcutting life.

5. This kind of evil cannot destroy our life. Jesus’ life wasn’t the sum total of what hung upon the cross.  Life isn’t defined by our mortal existence. We are remembered by friends, family, and others. We have legacies beyond our physicality. Death shortcuts the life we lead but not the lives we led. On Good Friday evening, the most powerful stories told are the memories of Jesus. This is the first proof of the resurrection.

–Richard Bryant

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