It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.1
Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.2 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.3 We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering an offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.4 Blotting out the handwriting of ordin-ances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.5
I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.6 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.7
1Joh 19:30; 2Heb 12:2; 3Joh 17:4; 4Heb 10:10-14; 5Col 2:14; 6Joh 10:17,18; 7Joh 15:13;
How can this “Good Friday” lection be appropriate for the start of the first weekend in August? So often the traffic reporters note the Friday light commuter traffic as people try to get a jump on weekend living. Eugene Peterson wrote of considering to live our lives as though every Friday were good Friday. Each weekend we can choose to live as participating in the Great Triduum. It is a very different way of life than the normal tenor of modern cultures. Even in the church there is a constant struggle to avoid Triduum living and compress such time for a couple of hours on Saturday or Sunday.
The great lie of our times is that our lives are our own. Such an arrogant view demands that we can possess any present and future we desire just by claiming it. The lie is perpetuated when we believe that we can control our future and direct our course. Control is the great spirit at play and our enemy longs for us to make it our compact.
As Christians, our faith teaches us that our lives are not our own. A recurring truth is that we trust and obey our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Living a weekend or two in the sacred time of the Triduum is one way to express that trust. Instead of frantic pursuits of cramming a life of experiences and amusements into a single weekend, Triduum living preserves the sacred. There might be deliberate solitude or prayerfulness. There might be extended time given over to ministry or mission. It requires discipline and the confidence to know that we are not missing out when given over to things so different from a consumer or acquisition culture. Give it a try and listen for the still small voice that is God whispering in your ear.