As a child the designation "good" for today confused me. How could we call such a somber day, good? Holy, yes. Blessed, yes. But, good?
As an adult I understand the meaning of good for this day. It is a solemn day of remembrance but it is also a time for us to stop and recall the great gift of love that we received this day. And that is most certainly good.
Our worship today will differ from place to place. Some services will focus on the great litany of prayers. Others will use the seven last words of Jesus. Some of us will walk the stations of the cross. Others will participate in a Tennebrae service of shadows and light.
I hope that this Friday Five will be a meaningful part of your Good Friday. God's blessings to you on your journey.
Our prayer concerns are as varied as we are this day. For whom would you like us to pray?
For D., who's had way to many complications from what should have been a very straightforward surgery; for P., who is suffering from autoimmune disease and doctors who aren't as committed to finding out exactly what as she is; for my dad and his sister, who have lost their brother and mother recently, and for whom Easter is the 5th anniversary of their father's death; for me...I hurt my back on Palm Sunday last year, and come April 1, if it doesn't flare up between now and then, I can begin doing "real" exercises and strength training to protect it; for Easter joy for all that doesn't dismiss our suffering, but instead gives us peace and joy in whatever we go through.
Are there things you have done or will do today to help the young ones understand this important day in our lives?
Today I'll take part in the preschool Easter fete, which will be fun. I'm not really concerned about making Good Friday a significant moment for our littlest ones. It's enough that we teach them that Jesus died for all, so that all might come to share eternal life, and that they know. When they get a little older, there will be plenty of time to teach them the harder grace of Good Friday.
Music plays an important part in sharing the story of this day. Is there a hymn or piece of music that you have found particularly meaningful to your celebrations of Good Friday?
"Were You There?" done well can be heart-breaking. Ben's also done (and I think will do today) "Lord of the Dance," with each verse more slow, until the 4th verse, which is done a capella and very slow. The chorus becomes almost a lament. And then he stops. The final verse is added on Easter Sunday.
As you hear the passion narrative, is there a character that you particularly resonate with?
I've always loved Peter. Impulsive, hard-headed, rash, with a great huge heart and not a whole lot of sense. I think we have a lot in common.
Where have you seen the gracious God of love at work lately?
In my life a great deal here lately. I've needed it. And I always see God at work in the kids I work with, from preschool Chapel Talks to the youth group. And in our "girls," a close knit group of senior ladies who are very loving and sweet.