Day 2: Space For Grief: Good Friday - Real Life Resurrections

Day 2: Space for Grief: Good Friday

I want to fix things when my kids are hurt. I’m eager to offer Band-Aids for skinned knees. I’m always ready to provide ice packs for injuries, and I’m happy to kiss any unseen boo-boos. But I have to resist the urge to paper over my kids’ emotional pain – to avoid providing spiritual Band-Aids for life’s hurts. Because I know that trying to fix wounds without giving them space to breathe – and to heal eventually – bypasses the genuine struggles of what it is to be human in this hurting world.

On Good Friday, Christians around the world sit with the darkest day of the year, remembering selfless, sacrificial love that led to the torture and crucifixion of Jesus.

It’s a somber, solemn day.

I resist sharing this part of the Christian life with my children. I want to shield them from violence. I want to protect them from suffering. But we cannot fully enter the celebration of Christ’s resurrection if we do not also reflect on his death at the hands of people in power who Jesus threatened.

As dark as this memory is, it also reminds us of the depth of God’s mercy and grace. The Light of the World showed us a better way – both in his ministry and death. He showed us that we are not without hope – even when we struggle with grief and our prayers are short.

Today, what would it look like for you to avoid papering over your pain? What might it look like to invite God into the suffering that you are holding? Consider setting aside five minutes to come to the One who loves you with the deepest kind of love. Share your honest laments and darkest struggles. Remember that you are loved by Jesus, who understands what it is to cry out in lament.

Breath Prayer:

Inhale: Be with us in the darkness

Exhale: O Light of the World

Scripture: John 19:1-37; John 3:16-17; Isaiah 53:4-5; Philippians 2:7-8; Genesis 22:1-18; Psalm 22:1-2, 9-11


O Lord, we come to You on this day

To remember You—

You, who hung each star in the sky

And, too, hung upon the cross.

O Lord, we grieve and lament

And repent of the ways we have shouted,

“Crucify Him!”

With our actions and our words

And our sins of omission and silence.

Christ, have mercy on us.

O Lord, we want to skip ahead

To Your resurrection,

Yet we do our children no favors

To present the idea that grief does not exist.

We ask You to help us

On this Friday

To create a sacred space,

To show them that You,

King of heaven and earth,

Took on our pain.

And even though You were betrayed,

Mocked, maligned, mistreated,

And even murdered,

You humbled Yourself to death on a cross

So that we would know life.

O Lord, we remember Your

Trial and torture.

We pray that our children

Would know Your way of love—

A love that makes a way

For all people,

That takes up the cross.

May they know a way that chooses mercy

When faced with an enemy,

A way that chooses

Sacrifice instead of comfort,

A way that chooses

Healing instead of violence,

A way that chooses

Loud love instead of hidden hate,

A way that opens their hearts

Instead of closes them shut.

And we pray for all to know

The deep and abiding love of Jesus Christ.

We wait in the darkness.

Be with us in the darkness,

O Light of the world.

(To Light Their Way, 154)

From the Book: