Good Friday, 2020 at Zion

Ta’Nika Gibson, actress, singer, and friend of Zion Church, was weathering the Coronavirus pandemic with her family in the Beautiful Butternut Valley that she calls home. When asked if she would sing for for us on Good Friday and Easter, she resoundingly replied “Yes!”

Deacon Gary sent this Good Friday offering to the parish accompanying a Good Friday Letter:

Zion Episcopal Church
Morris, New YorkGood Friday
April 10th, 2020 
Dear People of God,

       Called Good Friday for at least the past seven centuries, this day has always seemed to me to be anything but good. For Christians, this is the day on which Jesus was tortured, crucified, and buried. It is the day on which he was spit upon, ridiculed, and mocked. What could possibly be considered good about it?

       Apparently, Good Friday is one of those terms that came into English from another language, perhaps German, where it was sometimes called “God’s Friday” or “Holy Friday.”

       But there is some good to be found in this day, good for us. When we consider the heinous treatment and the inglorious suffering and death Jesus endured on this day, we should be shocked, mortified, and shamed. We should be overcome by the injustice of the pain and wrongful death. We should be angered that one so innocent could be handled so wrongly.

       We live at a great distance from the events of Good Friday. Too many years separate us from the Passion of Our Lord. When we remember it now, we might feel appropriately saddened, but the indignation and shock of having witnessed it is long gone. That’s because we didn’t witness it; we weren’t there. If we had been there, we would remember the smell of blood and sweat, the dull “clack” of hammer on nails, the sight of a friend struggling to breathe, and the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness as the world we knew came to an end.

       We weren’t there, and we cannot change that. Yet, there is a hymn I’ve known since childhood that brings me closer to the events of Good Friday, a hymn holds before us the Cross and asks, “Were you there?” and then causes us to tremble with the images it evokes:

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Were you there when the sun refused to shine?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

       Sometimes, it does cause me to tremble. Then I remember the words of John’s gospel: In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. I remember that the story is not over; the Living God will conquer Death.

       So, what’s so good about Good Friday? Without it Easter would never come.

Easter will come.

And for that, thanks be to God.


Ta’Nika Gibson is a Broadway, Film, and TV actress based in NYC. She made her Broadway debut this year in Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations covering the roles of Diana Ross and Tammi Terrell.  Instagram: @tgibstar

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