Unitarian Universalist generally are not big fans of the Christian Crucifixion story– so many interpretations of it have condoned legacies of violence. Humanity is saved through God sacrificing “his” only child? No, that is not how UU’s do salvation, thank you very much! And yet, we know the crucifixion is happening every single day. Every single day brutal forces of racism, white supremacy, misogyny, greed, and economic exploitation sacrifice the lives of someone’s child– for we are all someone’s child. I do not like the Cross and it’s violence legacy. And yet, there is a truth in the sacrifice of which it tells.
When Jesus was crucified, his followers did not know there would or could be a resurrection. All they knew was that their beloved leader, the person that represented hope and salvation, was crucified by the ruling powers of the day. Sometimes, we find ourselves sitting at the foot of the Cross, only knowing of the loss, not knowing what comes next, what could come next.
I don’t like sitting in the unknowing– I don’t think many humans do. But our great religious stories have survived because there is life saving wisdom in them. And today, as I approach Good Friday (and my Good Friday Reflection for Clinton Chapel AME Zion’s Good Friday Worship Service– please join me!), I am comforted by this part of the Crucifixion Story: sometimes, you are faced with an unbearable loss and you don’t know what comes next. And that is okay– resurrection happens without you knowing or planning for it. It is okay not to know.
This Friday, UUFSC has been invited again to join with the (predominantly Black and African-American) Clinton Chapel AME Zion congregation, to celebrate Good Friday. I will be offering a brief reflection as part of the service. The service will start at 7 pm, will likely go for two hours. Clinton Chapel is located at 1024 4th St– be careful using your phone map program– when you search for Clinton Chapel on google maps, it takes you to the wrong location. Type in the address instead!
And after Good Friday, comes Easter, even when we don’t know it… this Sunday: How We Rise–Multigenerational Flower Communion. From despair, hopelessness, and stuckness, we can rise. On Easter, we honor the Christian wisdom of the resurrection story, celebrating with our multigenerational Flower Communion. Please bring a flower for our Flower Communion Ritual! Worship Leaders this week are: Rev. Darcy Baxter, Todd Whiteley, and Sabine Klein.
And next Thursday, April 20th at 6pm, please join me in advocating Modesto’s city officials to support becoming a Sanctuary City. Our local, Latino-lead community organizing group, Faith in the Valley (formerly Congregations Building Community), has asked us to show up in support of making our community as safe as possible for our Latino and immigrant brothers, sisters, and siblings. We will hear testimonies from local youth and respectfully encourage our public officials to make Modesto an official sanctuary city. Thursday, April 20th, 6 p m – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1528 Oakdale Rd.