Good Friday in African American Protestant tradition often brings us services that are shaped around the believed seven last sayings of Jesus according to the accepted biblical canon. On this Good Friday, I am reminded of the third saying, “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.” ~John 19:26-27
It is Mary who sits on my heart tonight. It is the thought of how she, like so many Brown mamas throughout our own American history, had to watch her Brown son’s life be snuffed out by a system empowered by an empire that viewed him as a threat, that I ponder.
Tonight, even as I contemplate the sacrifice of His death on the cross, I also consider Mary and how for her, His sacrifice was Her greatest nightmare played out before her very eyes. No matter how she felt after his resurrection, at that moment, she was just another Brown mother losing her son to state-sanctioned violence.
I know that we as Christians often talk about Jesus’ life and look for parallels to our own to find hope and inspiration. But tonight, I find that Mother Mary too is not a figure who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities (Hebrews 4:15). She stands in history as a symbol of a consequence we would see play out over and again. And in her we can find both the deep well of sorrow that is appropriate in these matters of life stolen too soon and the resilience of character as she stands present to watch her firstborn baby take his last breath.
So, on this Good Friday, I send out love and prayers to Black and Brown children everywhere who lay their very bodies on the line to resist an unjust system backed by empire, and to every Black and Brown mama who has had to learn how to flip the pain of their greatest loss into inspiration for a movement.
Amen Asè, So Mote it be
Submitted by Rev. Kenyetta Chinwe