Fleming Rutledge is a preacher and teacher known throughout the US, Canada, and parts of the UK. She is the author of eight books, all from Eerdmans Publishing. Her most recent book, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ, is the product of the work of a lifetime and is being described as a new classic on the subject.
One of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church, she served for fourteen years on the clergy staff at Grace Church on Lower Broadway at Tenth Street, New York City.
Fleming and her husband celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2009 and have two daughters and two grandchildren. She is a native of Franklin, Virginia.
Discerning God's Work In The World: Tips From The Times For Preachers: Good Friday People
Monday, May 23, 2011
Good Friday PeopleA friend writes this on his blog (it's out of season, but still true)
Gordon Lightfoot had a song about "Rainy Day People." It was built on the premise that those who have lived through rainy days know how to endure the hard times better than those who have only had sunny days. Rainy day people always know when it is time to call. The rainy day people don't give advice, they just listen to the pain. Rainy day people just pass love along.
Garrison Keillor on his radio show had the same idea about Good Friday people. He suggested that those who stayed with the Holy Week services and showed up at the Good Friday services were the real deal. They were the ones who know their own sinfulness and did not try to hide it. They were the ones who were able to look death and suffering in the eye and not run away. The Good Friday people were the ones who did not turn away from the Cross. They were the hard core sinners who know what it means to be forgiven and accepted.
Keillor suggested that they ought to be the ones we seek out and make friends with because when life throws us a curve and we get knocked down, when we suddenly do something evil, we hit somebody with the car, or we yield to a temptation of the flesh, or we see an easy couple of hundred thousand dollars by walking on the wrong side of justice, and we get caught it will be the Good Friday people who will not abandon us.
….The Easter people are all nice and good people, but when they come close to scandal, sin, embarrassment, evil, they throw up their hands and refuse to have any part of it….. The good people on Easter are nice and proper. The people you need to have as friends when we get down to dealing with real sin and real evil are the Good Friday people. They do not pretend to be better. They do not condemn the sinner. They do not run from the pain of broken dreams and twisted relationships. They have seen the worst that humanity can do to goodness. They understand what part they have had in that, and they know that it is not the end of the story.
The Easter People are not ready for the heavy load of the cross. They are only interested at the moment in the good and happy story. Ah, but Good Friday people know there is no Easter joy without the Good Friday darkness. Keillor said maybe it was too late for you to find them this year but make sure you introduce yourself to some of them next year...
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