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Good Friday Now and Then

Looking at the past through the lens of the present.

by Greg Asimakoupoulos
April 6, 2007

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Good Friday Now and Then

The calendar above my desk
announces that today is a good Friday.

But the headlines of my morning paper
counter that claim.
A river of crimson blood
flows through the parched dirt streets
of an ancient city.

It's a pity really.
Innocent life snuffed out.
Victimized by fanatic fundamentalists.
Warring factions who fashion a wardrobe of power
cloaking the city in a sinister fog.

"Bag dad and bury him,"
a jaded widow doubled in grief
chides her frightened children.
"Hurry please, before your father is disposed
upon some garbage heap."

This mother's mourning
continues late into the night.

"I rock my babies to sleep
wishing them sweet dreams
all the while praying my own will come true.
Dreams that my sons and daughters will be able
to grow up without being blown up
never to wake again."

The complaint of the ancient psalmist is voiced anew.
"Where is God anyway?"
"Why has He forsaken the helpless anyhow?"

The mother of Jesus knew a similar sorrow.
Hunched at the foot of a Roman cross,
Mary inched back in fear and revulsion.
Her swollen eyes looked through
tear-stained fingers at a lifeless body.
It was a body she knew only too well.

This dead man was once the baby
she had gently rocked to sleep.
This bloody corpse had once been the toddler
whose bloodied knees she had tenderly bandaged.
This object of her grief had (not so long ago)
been her twelve-year-old Bar Mitzvah boy.
You know.
The one who went missing for three days
only to eventually to be found in the Temple
talking with the elders.

And now that life
(which God had supernaturally given her)
was gone.

As she lived her own nightmare that day,
I doubt Mary dared to dream
she would again find her Son in three days time.

The injustice was just too blinding.
The pain too intense.
The reasons why the blood was flowing
not nearly clear enough.

Two women (separated by two millennia)
drank bitter dregs from a common cup.
One lost an Iraqi husband.
The other a Jewish son.
For neither was it a good Friday.
It was a bad news day all the way.

And in the midst of human agony
the likes of which few of us could possibly imagine,
God has a way of showing up unannounced and unexpected.

It's called Easter.

The Bar Mitzvah boy did it again!

Comments (3)


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Jack Swanson from Windsor Park Manor writes:
April 6, 2007
Hi Greg,
I always enjoy your poems, but was particularly moved by the one today. We just had our communion service which was very well attended and was somber, yet rich in meaning.
Tears usually flow when I sense what Christ did for me on that cruel cross. Thankfully, Easter is coming!
Looking forward to your coming visit to Windsor.
Jack


Carla Plumb from Palatine Il. writes:
April 6, 2007
Pastor Greg,
You are a man of God and you have such a gift with words. I love all your articles and poems. And I just wanted to let you know how much you are missed.

Karen Jones writes:
April 6, 2007
Loved it! Happy Easter!

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PO BOOKS BY GREG ASIMAKOUPOULOS
Sunday Rhymes & Reasons
Published June 4, 2009

Sunday Rhymes and Reasons is a compilation of inspirational poetry by America's pastor/poet laureate, Greg Asimakoupoulos. In this, his third volume of poetry, Pastor Greg paints word pictures that portray both the struggle and fulfillment that define a life of faith. His repertoire of rhymes celebrate rite-of-passage occasions like birth, baptism, marriage and death as well as the major holidays of the church and culture. It is a volume that illustrates the poet's love of words and of popular culture. The author dips his brush into a paint box of hubris, humor and honesty.

"Gloria and I have been encouraged by word pictures from Greg's pen that have celebrated both our ministry and God's presence in our world."Bill Gaither, Gospel music composer/performer

"Gifted poet Greg Asimakoupoulos is a dear friend of our family. His poetry blesses, comforts, entertains, and provides inspiration for every season of life."Natalie Grant, singer/songwriter/recording artist

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Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

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