Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

Typically Good Friday has just been another long-weekend holiday for me but as I lay in bed this morning, I found myself thinking about how I might mark this day and make meaning of it for myself.

Unfortunately, I'll be spending much of the day writing a paper. But sitting at the computer, I've let my mind wander around the idea of the crucifixion, wondering how Good Friday fits into my faith.

A few years ago, I read about a controversial photograph taken by Andreas Serrano. The photograph is called "Piss Christ" and it depicts a crucifix submerged in a jar of the artist's urine. While many touted this piece as important to freedom of expression, others were offended, hurt, and angered by it.

But I am moved by this image. It cuts to the heart of what Christianity and Good Friday are about - an unsanitized God who joins with humanity in our vulnerability to dirtiness, pain, suffering, and abuse. And a God who responds to the ugly parts of humanness with love, compassion, and grace.

In his poem about the piece, Andrew Hudgins describes Piss Christ as depicting:
"the whole irreducible point of the faith,
God thrown in human waste, submerged and shining."

And so I am taking time today to meditate on Jesus ... submerged and shining.


Perpetualstudent said...

Hmm, thats interesting James. I was immediately offended, but his poem is a humbling perspective.

Its interesting how easily we can become offended at different interpretations of Christ. At school we sent out an ad for a year end banquet featuring a cartoon Jesus. It was amazing how offensive it was to most people. We ended up retracting the image and sending out a public apology.

Paul said...

Nice post. Nice image. And a better Easter message than I've heard in a long time.

Bettina Poulsen said...

I agree with Paul, well said James!

arbyn said...

I had to study that piss series in photography last year. I was left unsure of what was art anymore. Your version is better.

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