Good Friday’s Hunt For Light And Love

By Ken Woodley

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness,” said the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated 47 years ago tomorrow evening. “Only light can do that. 

“Hate cannot drive out hate,” he said.  “Only love can do that.”

Light and love will rise on Sunday and, if we let it, resurrect the world from both the darkness and the hate.

But on this day 2,000 years ago, it hardly seemed possible.

Darkness seemed to have driven out all of the light. 

Hatred seemed to have swallowed love in its entirety.

Easter is all about the triumph of light over darkness.

The victory of love over hate.

Light that is inside us, Jesus teaches.

The love within us all, is what he said.

And for that, they nailed him to a cross.

Sometimes we have to resurrect that light and love within us on a daily basis. At other times, when the world’s gravity doesn’t feel so heavy to us, both seem to rise up on their own and never set.

Life is tidal.

There is a rise and fall.

High tide never lasts forever. Low tide, too, ebbs away into waves that splash first around our ankles and then invite us deeper.

Deeper into the light.

Deeper into the love.

Head over heels in light.

Heels over head in love.

Good Friday seemed destined to be an endless reminder that darkness and hate can drive their nails in forever.

What is about to happen, however, shows us that light and love can shine from our deepest, darkest wounds into the world, freeing someone locked in their own darkness right beside us.

Even, sometimes, freeing the very reflection we see in our own mirrors, illuminating the path from which we have stumbled into a crown of thorns on our own Good Friday.

Easter is not a one-man show.

No pantomime act.

And thank God for that.

By remaining true to his faith, his message, ministry and calling, despite the hammer blows that drove the nails deeper and deeper, Jesus set loose the spirit and power of God’s love and light in a way that turned the balance.

Darkness and hate became the hunted.

Not hunted, however, with weapons.

Or, in fact, yes, hunted with the very best of weapons.

Hunted only by light.

Hunted simply by love.

Hunted to turn darkness into light.

Hunted to transform hatred into love.

How terribly and temptingly easy it would have been for Jesus, on Good Friday or at any point in the days and hours and minutes leading up to his agonizing death, to deny the truth that God had filled him with up to the brim, filling him so full that there would be—and is—enough for everyone to drink from that endless well.

A holy communion of light and love.

Living with the light and living with the love is not meant to be a spectator sport, however.

We’re meant to get in the game ourselves.

God wants us to run with the light as far as we can.

To carry love to the utmost limit of our ability.

Into the world around us.

Down that block. Around a corner. To the other side of a table. Across the room.

And sometimes, to do that, we have to get down from our own crosses, first.

Get down and feel a ripple within us from a resurrection that is both 2,000 years old and constantly alive among us.

This day and the two that follow—72 hours that forever changed the world—remind us that we can.

The decision, and oftentimes it can seem we must make that decision on a daily basis, is ours.

The love and the light are waiting.

Even on Good Friday.

Perhaps especially on Good Friday.

The one Jesus endured. And our own.

God put the love and the light there inside each of us.

But they are not for us, alone, to keep only to ourselves.

We are meant to share them both with each other.

Utterly and completely.

Just as we are meant to accept, with reckless abandon, 

the complete and utter love that God feels for each of us.

When we do, there is no Good Friday on earth 

that can keep us nailed to the cross.

By Ken Woodley


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness,” said the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated 47 years ago tomorrow evening. “Only light can do that.

“Hate cannot drive out hate,” he said. “Only love can do that.”

Light and love will rise on Sunday and, if we let it, resurrect the world from both the darkness and the hate.

But on this day 2,000 years ago, it hardly seemed possible.
Darkness seemed to have driven out all of the light.
Hatred seemed to have swallowed love in its entirety.

Easter is all about the triumph of light over darkness.
The victory of love over hate.
Light that is inside us, Jesus teaches.
The love within us all, is what he said.

And for that, they nailed him to a cross.

Sometimes we have to resurrect that light and love within us on a daily basis. At other times, when the world’s gravity doesn’t feel so heavy to us, both seem to rise up on their own and never set.

Life is tidal.
There is a rise and fall.
High tide never lasts forever. Low tide, too, ebbs away into waves that splash first around our ankles and then invite us deeper.

Deeper into the light.
Deeper into the love.
Head over heels in light.
Heels over head in love.

Good Friday seemed destined to be an endless reminder that darkness and hate can drive their nails in forever.

What is about to happen, however, shows us that light and love can shine from our deepest, darkest wounds into the world, freeing someone locked in their own darkness right beside us.

Even, sometimes, freeing the very reflection we see in our own mirrors, illuminating the path from which we have stumbled into a crown of thorns on our own Good Friday.

Easter is not a one-man show.
No pantomime act.
And thank God for that.

By remaining true to his faith, his message, ministry and calling, despite the hammer blows that drove the nails deeper and deeper, Jesus set loose the spirit and power of God’s love and light in a way that turned the balance.

Darkness and hate became the hunted.
Not hunted, however, with weapons.

Or, in fact, yes, hunted with the very best of weapons.

Hunted only by light.
Hunted simply by love.
Hunted to turn darkness into light.
Hunted to transform hatred into love.

How terribly and temptingly easy it would have been for Jesus, on Good Friday or at any point in the days and hours and minutes leading up to his agonizing death, to deny the truth that God had filled him with up to the brim, filling him so full that there would be—and is—enough for everyone to drink from that endless well.

A holy communion of light and love.

Living with the light and living with the love is not meant to be a spectator sport, however.
We’re meant to get in the game ourselves.

God wants us to run with the light as far as we can.
To carry love to the utmost limit of our ability.
Into the world around us.

Down that block. Around a corner. To the other side of a table. Across the room.
And sometimes, to do that, we have to get down from our own crosses, first.
Get down and feel a ripple within us from a resurrection that is both 2,000 years old and constantly alive among us.

This day and the two that follow—72 hours that forever changed the world—remind us that we can.

The decision, and oftentimes it can seem we must make that decision on a daily basis, is ours.

The love and the light are waiting.
Even on Good Friday.

Perhaps especially on Good Friday.

The one Jesus endured. And our own.

God put the love and the light there inside each of us.

But they are not for us, alone, to keep only to ourselves.

We are meant to share them both with each other.

Utterly and completely.

Just as we are meant to accept, with reckless abandon,
the complete and utter love that God feels for each of us.

When we do, there is no Good Friday on earth
that can keep us nailed to the cross.

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