A Good Friday Devotion by Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon
Few would argue the realities in the Middle East are riddled with darkness. Consider the minority and Christian communities in Iraq continuing to suffer from poverty and displacement after the violence of Daesh (ISIS) and other militant groups destroyed their homes and killed so many of their loved ones. The people of Yemen continue to suffer under a crushing civil war that has manifested itself in the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. The occupation of the Palestinian people continues beyond fifty years of military control of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. Refugees from Syria reside in makeshift camps in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan, as they consider what it might look like to ever rebuild their lives again and have hope for a future for their children and their children’s children. The stories of pain and suffering throughout the Arab world could go on and on. There are many places where the darkness seems to prevail.
As Christians around the world come to the conclusion of their holiest week and the Lenten season, this day, “Good Friday” is about entering into the darkness. Christ’s death on the cross remains a symbol that sometimes it seems evil prevails. Sometimes the darkness seems to overcome. Brokenness, grief, and suffering are realities that penetrate the lives of our families, loved ones, and brothers and sisters in the Middle East. This pain and loss is real.
This night, let us consider the profound truth that Christ entered into the darkness on our behalf. May we grieve and lament the brokenness we witness and experience. May we lament that the world has not yet fully been made right the way that God intended for it to be.
Tonight we enter into the darkness and we grieve.
Lord of the cross,
We come to you with gratitude that you know the depths of our suffering and have taken the greatest of our pain upon yourself. Help us to draw nearer to you as we reflect on the people in the Middle East who continue to live in poverty and hardship. May we grieve the ways conflicts continue to rage and the places in the world where it seems evil triumphs. Help us tonight to better understand the reality of darkness, brokenness, and pain.
Help us to remain persistent in our hope, even when it seems darkness prevails.