Our pale pink trellis roses will be flowering in gorgeous abundance in about six weeks. They grow up from massive vines. In stark contrast to the delicate, graceful flowers, the vines are rough-skinned, tough, craggy, crude, and studded all over with the sharpest of thorns. Barbaric, like an implement of torture. Barbaric, like the crown of thorns. Barbaric, like the cross.
The cross casts its long shadow on Good Friday, this darkest day of the Christian year. Worshippers the world over pause on this day to mourn the death of a loving and sinless brother, the one who took our ugliness upon himself and carried it with him to the cross.
Good Friday ends with the death of the Son of God. But as this church sign in Providence, Rhode Island proclaims, death isn’t the end of the story.
No. Not by far. Easter’s coming.