Yep, today is Good Friday. It is, for human beings, the best thing that could have ever happened, but for Jesus, the Christ… It was sheer torture. One of my favorite Gerhart hymns, “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth,” verse 3, gets to the point quite well.
“… / O wondrous Love, what have You done! / The Father offers up His Son, / Desiring our salvation. / O Love, how strong You are to save! / You lay the One into the grave / Who built the earth’s foundation.”
Good Friday isn’t the end of the story, either. Pretty much everyone knows that Easter Sunday is coming up pretty quickly. Yes, Easter without Good Friday is pretty meaningless. It is more than a pastoral footnote about seeds growing, caterpillars turning to butterflies, and other “springy” images, though. It is about the cost of forgiveness. Not the cost to us, it cost God more than we can begin to understand.
To help us begin to work our way toward at least appreciating what God has done and continues to do for us, earlier generations of Christians used the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter to hold Easter Vigil services. One of the best explanations of Easter and “light walk-throughs” actually came from my pastor and cantor on the “Coffee Hour” podcast at KFUO. <– If you click that link, it will take you to the page. Scroll down a bit, and you will see the podcast called, “The Coffee Hour – Easter Vigil: From Darkness to Light.” It lasts a little bit under 30 minutes.
In case you don’t have a church nearby that has Easter Vigil services, my church is. It will start at 6:30 PM tomorrow. Zion, Tomball’s website has a link to the YouTube live-stream and bulletin download here. I’m not entirely certain what they are going to do for the opening bonfire and procession into the church, maybe Facebook live? We shall see.