Should I not admit that? But I do. I like that a major part of the Christian story is a dark day when all feels lost. I don’t even just like it in the “I like it because I know Easter is coming in two days” kind of way. I like it for its darkness.
It’s sometimes hard to remember, in the midst of the crisis that is American Christianity (but not in the same way Andrew Sullivan thinks, more on that later), in the midst of the proliferation of health and wealth gospels and poppy praise songs that there’s a darkness — a brutal death — at the center of our faith. We gloss through Good Friday on our merry way to the open tomb. We don’t live with Good Friday.
So, naturally, I like things that help me live with Good Friday a bit, and this year I had a special treat. My good friend, the talented singer-songwriter Jake Armerding released a song called “Why Have You Forsaken Me” as part of his year-long Community Supported Art project. Each month he releases a new song, and this month’s is, appropriately, dark.
In just about five minutes Jake evokes the despair of Good Friday, waves away any of the pretty poetry about footprints in the sand and hands reaching down, and just lets us live in the darkness. I’m playing it on repeat today, and, tonight, when I attend Good Friday mass it will still be circling in my head and bumping up against the reading of Psalm 22.
Not a bad way to spend a Good day.
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald is editor of Patrol and author of Not Your Mother's Morals: How the New Sincerity is Changing Pop Culture for the Better. Follow Fitz on Twitter.
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