Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday is Very Good

Good Friday is my favorite day of the year. Every year I look forward to Good Friday more than Christmas or Easter or anything like that. For starters, it's the beginning to the weekend that defines why a Christian is a Christian. As a card-carrying Christ follower, it's a primo weekend. Meanwhile, the service tonight will be somber and reflective -- the only service of the year that is like that. Every other Sunday service is Easter, or a mini-Easter celebration. I love Easter, don't get me wrong. But it helps to have the valleys in order to appreciate the mountaintops. And the service tonight is that perspective-setting valley.

The office of tenebrae is the service we will be following tonight. It ends in darkness and silence broken by a loud crash. The darkness and silence leading up to the harsh noise is a critical part of completing the symbolism of the tragedy of Christ's death. In past years, though, with Easter after Daylight Savings time, a 7pm service finishes with it still being light outside. When you can see the pastor about to slam the Bible down, it sort of removes the surprise bit of it. This year, however, my church has decided to move tonight's service to 8pm. So, while that is too late for some people, it means that it will be dark by the time the service is over, which better sets the sad mood that is most appropriate to have by the end of the service.

I am really excited for this weekend. And it all starts with a appropriately sobering Friday night, a commemoration of that terrible, but very good, Friday two thousand years ago.

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