I've shared this in the past, and thought it worth repeating this week. Do you ever feel like you don't have time to think? For some of you, maybe the question should be: do you EVER feel like you have ANY time to think? I don't mean about what to eat, or what channel to watch. I mean thinking deeply, reflectively, meditatively: about life, purpose, relationship, significance, eternity. In her book on the Sabbath, Marva Dawn comments on Jacques Ellul's Humiliation of the Word "which laments the fact that our view of reality is so distorted by the 'news,' which comes to us in small, disjointed pieces that change every day and that usually focus on the catastrophic. The result is that we develop an inadequate perspective on world events and a consequent dwindling of our sense of hope and meaning... our view is usually an isolated one that does not take into consideration the relationship of that one dimension to the whole of our situation." During this Holy Week - the highpoint of the Christian calendar - in the midst of your busy lives without enough time to think deeply, I have a news bulletin for you. It IS catastrophic, but it's not. To many in our world, it seems like a small, disjointed piece of information, but it is far from insignificant; it is far from isolated and narrow in its relevance. It affects, more than anything else, now and forever, 'the whole of our situation.'
The news bulletin is simply this: Jesus died. He was unjustly crucified. BUT NOW, HE HAS RISEN! And nothing is the same. THAT should be the center, from which every bit of information, experience, thought and feeling, finds its proper orientation.
Join us on Good Friday at 4:30pm for one of the most special services of the year, as we mourn and meditate, but not without hope. I'm extra excited about introducing a new element to this service! Of all days of the year to insist that you get off from work, or at least out early enough, Good Friday is the day. It is our high holy day, and a day to fast and pray and meditate. Don't ask your boss if it's ok: inform him/her that this is your holy day.
If you choose to fast, you can skip food and drink other than water, and we will break our fast during the Lord's Supper. In Jesus' deepest emptiness, he fills and satisfies us! If you are ill, elderly, pregnant, a young child, or otherwise at risk, then you should not fast. But if those categories don't describe you, there is no more appropriate day on which to fast, and in your hunger, to understand a bit more acutely, the lack and loss that Jesus experienced in the place of his sinful, yet believing people. In order to maintain the meditative mood of the service, as has been our custom, we will ask that you depart from the Good Friday service in silence.
And of course, join us on Easter Sunday as we celebrate Resurrection Life! Services will be held according to our normal schedule: 8:30 and 11:15. Don't forget to take the time to invite a friend who otherwise would not be attending services on Sunday.
Resurrection Grace to you,