the mother of all oxymorons

I’m back. I have been away at our church holiday at Sizewell Hall on the Suffolk coast, just next door to Sizewell Nuclear Power Station. I felt quite at home!

We were all quite tired when we got home so decided to order takeaway pizza for tea. I think everyone else in the church must have had the same thought because the delivery took a long time to arrive. While we were waiting I realised what a multilayered oxymoron ‘takeaway delivery’ is.

We did not take anything away from the place where the food was created. That must surely be the definition of ‘takeaway’ food. And the direction is all wrong. It was movement towards not away from that defined yesterday’s food. So in reality I think what we had was ‘requested delivery towards’ pizza.

That’s not the only oxymoron that is bothering me at the moment. Tomorrow is ‘Good Friday’. I have always struggled with that name for as long as I have been aware of what the day commemorates. I understand that ‘good’ in this sense refers to ‘holy’ but why couldn’t they have called it ‘Holy Friday’ if that’s the case? I can remember being told that it is ‘good’ because it is the day when because of Jesus’ death on the cross.

Both, or either, maybe true. There may be another explanation that one of you can offer. But regardless of the history I cannot easily reconcile ‘good’ with what happened. Here are some alternative names that occur to me:

travesty of justice Friday

cruel Friday

the darkest day in history Friday

how could they Friday

how could I Friday

how could he Friday

There are various hymns, poems and reflections that speak of it being love that held Jesus on the cross, not nails. That may be so but it was an unspeakably cruel way to kill somebody, particularly for political expediency and power, and especially someone who was completely innocent.

It reminds me of just how seriously God takes human sin. I think he takes it a lot more seriously than we do most of the time. Until we look at the cross on Good Friday we don’t understand the depths to which we have sunk. Nor do we fully understand the depths of God’s love for us.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

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