What The [bleep] Is So Good About Good Friday?

As I write this it’s noon my time, on Good Friday. Outside my window the sky is a thick mat of mottled grays. It’s cold here—or what we here in San Diego call cold, anyway.

I don’t like to write on Good Friday. But I thought I’d visit here for a moment, in case any of my dear reader friends happen to stop by for a little Good Friday commiseration.

Hello, friend! Much love to you.

I’m always massively depressed on Good Friday—and am today. Listless. Unmotivated.

Gray.

Cold.

My wife Cat took the day off work to do our taxes. She’s in her office right now, figuring and calculating.

Today is all about paying the cost of being alive, I suppose.

See? Depressed.

I don’t like sharing that I’m depressed today, because I know it can’t help but sound like a kind of bragging, as if the conscious subtext of what I’m saying is, “I’m suffering because I so closely identify with Christ on the Cross. Isn’t it great that I’m always depressed on Good Friday? Aren’t I a good Christian?”

And, God knows, the world has enough Christians telling the world what good Christians they are.

See? Depressed. Again: why I don’t write on Good Friday.

Today, of course, is the nadir of the Christian year. We live, we breathe, we survive this darkness. And then, wonder of wonder, the son rises again.

But that’s two days from now. Does zilch for me today.

Love, love, love to you all, on this blessed, tragic, miserable freakin day.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://kleinzeit3.wordpress.com/ Sophia Marsden

    I'm depressed today but I wish I could claim it has something to do with Christ.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    If you're a Xtian, it probably does. I mean, that's been my experience. My sadness today doesn't FEEL as if it has anything at all to do with Christ–but I know that, every year—and some years, without even knowing what day it is—I find myself feeling this exact same crappy way.

  • http://bethyoung.wordpress.com/ bethyoung

    I agree with you. It's a sad day. But a good sad that I wish more people knew and felt.

  • http://kleinzeit3.wordpress.com/ Sophia Marsden

    I want to be a Christian but I am not one yet. I dunno why I feel sad. Just empty. But this whole Lent I just really noticed how, as much as I want to be close to God and stuff, He's so distant from me. Every time I've heard the Passion narrative, it's like all I can do is not understand in the slightest.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Out of fear (which so easily becomes anger) people kill what's good. There. That's … the gist of it, for sure.

  • Cibola

    Love, love, love one another is what we need to do in this blessed, tragic, miserable, freakin world we live in.

  • http://themasterstable.wordpress.com Clark Bunch

    Maybe I should be sad today, but I'm not. We have daily chapel where I am (that puts me in one of about three places in America), and have focused on Holy Week each day. I saw a passion play at a big First Baptist church just last night. I'm prepared to preach twice on Easter, after attending a sunrise service. It's been a great week.

    Sure, the resurrection is 2 days away. This is the day that Jesus died. His mother was sad, the apsotles were terrified. The sky turned dark in the middle of the day, and the earth trembled. It's all because Jesus died. But why did he die? So you and I might live. By his stripes we are healed. He is the Lamb of God that was slain, and takes away the sins of the world. That should do something for us even today.

  • Christine

    ah John I have finally found a kindred spirit!! Always am massively depressed on good friday and con’t do church services (gasp…shock…horror) on it cos all the songs make me want to cry. But within the sadness there is a hope…but like you said, does zilch for me today

  • Greta Sheppard

    I just came in the door from a Good Friday Inter-Church presentation

    of the cross…sang and acted and preached out. On the wall of the church was a wall hanging…barely visible in the dimmed lights. My eye were drawn to it. Here’s what I read:

    GIVE ME YOUR EYES

    FOR JUST A SECOND

    GIVE ME YOUR EYES

    SO I CAN SEE

    EVERYTHING I’M MISSING

    GIVE ME YOUR LOVE

    FOR HUMANITY

    Obviously, it is a cry of a depressed heart… someone who knows what Good Friday is all about but feels helpless in a sense to explain the love behind the suffering…

  • http://www.sisterfriends-together.org anita cadonau-huseby

    Whoa Big Guy? Sounds like someone's body sugar is too low. Email me with mailing address. Cookies on standby.

  • http://www.ldbeams.wordpress.com ladybeams

    I'm sorry to hear this day depresses you like it does. I'm a little naive I guess. I hit Good Friday knowing what it brings with it. While it was a such a tragic event, in just a couple of days it brings with it a promise fulfilled. It sort of reminds me of a man who used to play Santa for a care center for retarded children. It always upset him so thinking that any of those children could have been his. I had to ask him one time why it didn't put joy in his heart to put such joy on their faces?

    Thanks for sharing that you aren't always "high on life".

  • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

    I think that many of us resonate with you John.. many not just on Good Friday :(

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Thanks, Mr. Bob.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Thanks to you all!

  • http://mymenandme.wordpress.com Janelle

    Greta, Brandon Heath sings "Give me your eyes". It's my favourite song these days.

  • Greta Sheppard

    Janelle…I shall try and find the song… thank you for enlightening me…the words were and still are poignant to my heart…really gripped me…

    Blessings!

  • Tammy Ransdell

    I know you wrote this a few years back..but I have to comment and say how much I agree! I don’t like that its’ called “good” Friday. I prefer to call it Easter Friday. There is nothing good about anyone dying…especially our Christ.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Right? Thank you.