GOOD FRIDAY

I am old enough to remember a day when God’s people made time for Holy Week. Most businesses closed between noon and 3PM on Good Friday ( the traditional time of Jesus crucifixion) so people could attend worship, and many churches were full. During the week, sanctuaries were open for prayer and meditation. People stopped in at all times of the day to pray, to think, to reflect, to be with Jesus, to contemplate His passion, to give thanks, to bear witness to their faith.

Our sanctuary is open during Holy Week from 7AM to 7PM. Candles are lit and organ music, reflecting the solemnity of the week, plays quietly. The large wooden cross stands in mute testimony to the love that was poured out for sinners.  Over the years I have routinely seen one or two people make their way into the church during the week. A few more may make the pilgrimage that I do not see, but you get the idea. Today, this is a common story often told across our land.

It would be easy to complain about this but all I can do is feel saddened; saddened to see Christian people whose hearts and minds are so conformed to the works and ways of the world that their response to the Great and Holy Week of our faith is studied indifference.

Seen in the light of such casual neglect, the wonder of God’s grace seems even more amazing. But has it not always been so?  We do not deserve the blessed Jesus. We do not belong in the same world with Him. But deserving has no place in the equation of grace.

So, our dear Lord Jesus struggled through His tears on that hillside outside Jerusalem twenty centuries ago, got to His feet and shouldered the terrible cross for the faithless, undeserving  ones –  for you and me.  Amazing.

Published by Pastor Mark Anderson

Lutheran pastor, husband, dad, archaeology nut, serious blues guitarist and aspiring luthier.

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