Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Good Friday by Josh Garrels

I thought that in this week which we dare to call holy it would be good to go through the lyrics of one of Josh Garrels's most moving songs called Good Friday. It's a beautiful song and haunting song, so it can be a good song to help put one in the right mindset for the great events we commemorate at the end of this week.


The song starts by describing what our condition is like before Jesus comes, either before Jesus came into the world 2,000 years ago or when he comes into each of our lives today. Our pre-Christ condition is one of brokenness and confusion. Life feels like it should have more, and we search. I search for a meaning bigger than myself, for a meaning that I didn't create. I search for a love that will never die.
Broken wing, forgotten dream, shattered thing
That a man's hands can’t ever truly mend
Shadow land, desert sand, a man searches
For a love that’ll never die
But in the midst of suffering through a life without meaning, someone comes to offer you something better. You don't have to suffer alone, and you don't have to suffer meaninglessly. God has suffered for you, and through His sufferings, you can have a new freedom.
Truth be known, you’re not alone
Your aching bones will find a home
In a place where God he sets us free 
 And there is a bit of a desire for this new life, so you start looking for it:
Wake me up before you go
I will listen for the sound of your voice
Hints of this voice can be found in the world, but is more readily sensed in the deep recesses of the heart. As Augustine said, "You were within me, and I was in the world outside myself" (Confessions X, 17).
Hear the wind in the trees
It goes where it please
Like the breath in me
And all who have breath can sing 
Ultimately, voices have to belong to somebody. This voice deep inside you is the voice of a person, Jesus, who died and was laid in the ground. But he didn't die a meaningless death. There was hope in it. He warned us of his death, but we didn't understand what he told us. After he died, we wondered if that was the end of it.This is the chorus of the song and so ties together the longing of the first part of the song with the agony of the second.
When we laid your body down
In earth and in the ground
Oh child, rest your soul.

Will a hope be made good
When a word is understood
In the day, will we see you again?
But we know that we did see him again. Everything he said was proven true by the fact that he rose from the dead. And so we tell his story, and we keep telling his story. A dead man's story doesn't change the world the way a living man's story does.
Gather round, hear the sound
Of a story that’s so old that it’s been told
Before time
It's the story of God made man, of the light coming into the darkness and the darkness not overcoming it. I like the phrase that he was born into a world "that was dark as hell," because that is quite literally true. Jesus was the light that came into the world.
He was born in the flesh and the blood
In a world that was dark as hell, and dead in sin
 And yet, despite being the only hope against the darkness, his beginnings were humble.
Born of the spirit, and the virgin child
He’s the son of God, son of man
We, the people who walk in darkness, resist the light when it comes. Either we don't recognize it or we withdraw from it when we see it. And so he experienced sorrow, sorrow like we can't imagine.
I didn't recognize that look in his eyes
When they cried
With a sorrow that no man has ever known
He was sorrowful because we rejected him. He offered light and we preferred darkness, he offered love and we preferred hatred. So we killed him, and he experienced the full weight of humanity when he felt the abandonment of his Father.
Hang him high, watch him die, hear the cry
Crucified up on that God forsaken tree
And all who have breath can sing
And then we return to the chorus, to remind us that this Jesus who died for us is the only answer to the longing we each experience in our lives.
When we laid your body down
In the earth and in the ground
Oh Lord, rest your bones

Will a hope be made good
If your words are understood
In the day, will we see you again
And then Garrels beautifully ends with Jesus' cry from the "God forsaken tree":
Oh Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?
Oh my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Oh Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?
Oh my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Hopefully this haunting song helps your emotions to enter into the beauty and the tragedy of the Sacred Triduum. God bless!

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