Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

I'd never really been involved, or even been to, a Good Friday service before last year. In the course of my life I've been exposed to different Christian denominations. My parents are both talented vocalists and my Dad is a pianist/organist which often meant visits to different churches when they were asked to minister. When we moved back into this area just under twenty years ago, Dad was blessed enough to get a job as an accompanyist with a local Methodist church. The congregation there have continually supported and loved our family through the years and have been notably present during Mom's recent battles with cancer.
I'd often heard Dad describe the Good Friday services when he would come home from them garbed in his all black attire. The crosses draped in black, candles being snuffed out after each scripture reading of the events leading to the death of Christ, the dramatic organ pieces he'd play, the sanctuary being completely dark by the end of the service...not only from lack of light but from the somber mood that would descend on those gathered. I never really appreciated what he was describing until I'd attended one for myself and, ultimately, never appreciated Easter Sunday in quite the same way. I couldn't fully appreciate the magnitude and hope of Easter until I had contemplated the ultimate sacrifice and love of Good Friday.

Ms. Cheryl, wife of our minister of music, makes the service even more memorable by doing a large drawing while the service is going on. She starts out with a large black background and a roughly sketched outline of the portrait she wants to draw for this year's service. You would think that doing this would totally distract from the service, but it doesn't - it adds to it. A very literal reminder to keep our eyes on Jesus.

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